Laurel Hill Cemetery

Picture Heavy Post, Reader Beware!

This morning, Boyf and I woke up and we had a few things we planned to do on this beautiful Saturday morning in Philadelphia. We wanted to go down the street to a Farmer’s Market we heard about, which I was super pumped about! We were en route to the Market, but we took a pit stop at Laurel Hill Cemetery, and I am very glad we did. Luckily I had my Nikon SLR camera with me, and I was able to take some fabulous pictures. We live so close to the wonderful historic landmark that is Laurel Hill Cemetery, here is what we saw this morning in pictures:

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Laurel Hill Cemetery is “more than just a cemetery. It’s an outdoor sculptural garden, a historical gem, and a truly unique historical resource. It also happens to be one of the few cemeteries in the United States to be honored with the designation of National Historic Landmark.” It is 78- acres of land that stretch just outside the Philadelphia city limits. It was founded in 1836. Laurel Hill is home to General Meade and thirty-nine other Civil War-era generals reside here, in addition to six Titanic passengers.

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I have always driven by or around the cemetery, but I have never actually been in the cemetery. Boyf and I were so surprised and overwhelmed by it all. It was pretty amazing seeing all the history. I stopped in my tracks when I saw this “Father” and “Mother”

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Laurel Hill is just incredible. It goes on and on. Headstone as far as the eye can see.

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I just loved looking at how old everything was. Some of the people in the cemetery were born in the 1700’s. Laurel Hill Marketplace 068 Laurel Hill Marketplace 069

Some of these headstone have seen so many seasons come and go. You can’t even read the writing on so many of them. The weather and the years have worn them away.

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This particular style of headstone was all over one section of the cemetery. I guess the “drape” was a popular headstone style back in the day. Weird to think that cemeteries go through different styles of headstones, don’t you think?

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I felt so bad because there was so many headstones that had just fallen to the ground because they had been there for so many years. I would have thought that the cemetery would be in charge of keeping them in tact, but I guess not.

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In all the cemeteries I have been to in my life, many of the headstones were always decorated with flowers and balloons and other items from loved ones. This cemetery is so old that all the loved ones of the ones buried in the cemetery aren’t around anymore. I maybe saw 5 headstones with flowers on them. Sort of sad when you think about it that way.

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This one plot, and many others, had huge cracks down the middle of them. I am sure the last generation of so many families are buried in Laurel Hill, and there is no one to come visit the burial site anymore.

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I wanted to stop and clean off some of the tombstones. This little guy had a stick to keep it propped up.  

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These headstones were not so lucky. The ground grows around them as the days go by.

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Some of the headstones had amazing views of the Schuylkill River. I run right at the bottom of this hill everyday.  Laurel Hill Marketplace 089 Laurel Hill Marketplace 086

Thomas McKean was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He is one of the “celebrities” at Laurel Hill. Laurel Hill Marketplace 088

Another recent celebrity to Laurel Hill is Harry Kalas. Harry was the play by play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies, who died this past April.

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His grave site was filled with seats from the stadium and other things that his many fans have brought to stay with him at his final resting place.

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He scored an awesome spot at Laurel Hill. He looks right over the Schuylkill River.

Laurel Hill Marketplace 003You can see the Philadelphia Zoo in the background. Laurel Hill Marketplace 009 Laurel Hill Marketplace 013 Laurel Hill Marketplace 014

The cemetery goes on and on and on!

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This person also has a great view of the river.

Laurel Hill Marketplace 019 I saw this inscription on a tombstone and just thought it was a great poem. What do you think?

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It says “We Live in Deeds Not Years, In Thoughts, Not Breaths, In Feelings, Not in Figures on a Dial.

We Should Count Time By Heart Throbs.

He Most Lives Who Thinks Most, Feels the Noblest, Acts the Best”

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Can tombstones be cute? Because I think these are.

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This is the Adrian Balboa marker from the latest Rocky movie. A scene from the movie was filed here.

Laurel Hill Marketplace 026  And just incase you are in the market for one, family lots are still available at Laurel Hill! It has been around for hundreds of years, but there is still space for more!

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I thought it was amazing to see the cemetery today. There is SO much history there, like I have already said a million times, but there really is. Boyf and I explored a good bit of the cemetery, but I would like to go back one day for a walking tour. I am SURE there is so much more to learn!

They are marketing Laurel Hill as a place to come and picnic or ride a bike through, which is interesting, because its a cemetery. Is that sac religious? I mean its a National Historic Landmark, on a BEAUTIFUL strip of land, but I am not sure I would want to set up shop and chill out all day by gravestones.

What are your thoughts? I do want to bike through it. There are some fabulous hills! Is that bad of me? People were doing it today and they looked like they were having a lovely time. Maybe I should bring flowers to a gravestone once in a while that looks like it hasn’t gotten much love. That will be some good karma in exchange for biking through the cemetery, right?

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3 Comments

  • Reply Baylee♥ August 8, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    although, i am literally scared sh!tless of cemeteries (i always think someones gunna pop out from the dead..im strange like that)..but these are really neat pictures and it sounds like it s a really neat, historic place!

  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~ August 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    So pretty!

  • Reply Charm City Kim August 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Very interesting (and beautiful) cemetary!

    I think biking is totally acceptable.

    I'm a little weary of having a picnic in a cemetary mostly because I'm a little scared of them and believe in ghosts!

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