Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia

We took a day-trip to lovely old Savannah in the rain. With a series of road maps and our rental car, we made our way across the state border (and only got lost once!). Once in the city, parking was a bit hard to come by. It’s a very pedestrian-friendly city, with almost every block in the historic district having large beautiful squares. The city was designed by James Oglethorpe as a series of land plots built around main squares (there are 24 in the historic district where we visited) along with space for public buildings and churches. Because of … Continue reading Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia

Braddock’s Point Cemetery, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Harbour Town is located in the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head. It was built in the 1960s and 1970s as an environmentally-friendly (as much as resorts can be!) designed tourist spot. But the land there has a much longer history. A great deal of where Sea Pines is located was known as Braddock’s Point, and the Stoney family and later the Baynard family had a large plantation there (see my post about the Stoney-Baynard Plantation Ruins). There was a large slave population on Hilton Head, and several very large planations which each occupied a vast space on the island. … Continue reading Braddock’s Point Cemetery, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Creative legacy of the Civil War

Having just finished watching the entirety of Ken Burns’ The Civil War, I was struck by the vast amount of creativity it inspired. Indeed, the war itself still resonates today with meaning. Burns himself refers to it as “America’s Iliad“, the epic narrative of American history. With the new art-form of photography developing through the Civil War, war reporters had a new means of bringing the war home to those living far from the battlefields. No longer were articles accompanied by sketchings, drawings or daguerrotypes, instead, real photographs could be included. But in addition to the shots of soldiers, ranks, … Continue reading Creative legacy of the Civil War

Grave found at Dickenson homestead, Amherst, MA

Every time I visited UMass, we would often drive past Emily Dickinson’s homestead. She is one of my favorite poets, her imagery is beautiful and often stark and insightful. She is probably best known for her reclusiveness. She was born in 1830 and briefly attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley nearby, but left after a year due to homesickness. It wasn’t until her thirties that she began to live reclusively, but by that point she had amassed a group of friends and acquaintances to which she held vast correspondance with throughout her life, even if she chose to … Continue reading Grave found at Dickenson homestead, Amherst, MA

Mount Auburn Cemetery lecture, Boston Public Library

Just received a mailing from Mount Auburn Cemetery, and there is a great lecture coming up: “W.E.B. Du Bois and the Enyclopedia Africana”October 18, 2006, 6 p.m. Boston Public Library, Copley SquareFree and open to the publicHenry Louis Gates, Jr. is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Earlier this year he had a fantastic documentary series on PBS entitled “African American Lives“. I watched all the episodes, and loved every moment. Using genealogy and genetics, he researching his own history as well as several famous or high-achieving African Americans such as Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, and … Continue reading Mount Auburn Cemetery lecture, Boston Public Library

Ancient Peru pet cemeteries

From an article today, Archaeologists have uncovered over 82 dog tombs buried alongside humans in Peru. Their owners were the Chiribaya, who lived in the Osmore River valley. They were farmers who lived approximately from “AD 900 to 1350 before the rise of Peru’s Inca Empire”. From a sociological standpoint, it is interesting to note that the dogs, adults and puppies, were buried with blankets food – “They are dogs that were thanked and recognized for their social and familial contribution,” anthropologist Sonia Guillen said. “These dogs were not sacrificed.” Were they kept as pets in the modern sense of … Continue reading Ancient Peru pet cemeteries

Howland Cemetery, Hanson, MA

Every summer I explore this cemetery, as it is on my aunt’s property, and never ceases ceases to captivate. I also try to photograph it each summer, keeping records over time of the state of the stones. Per the advice and sharp eye of my Aunt Maria, we uncovered a broken headstone in the small Howland plot so that I could photograph it. Fending off the swarms of mosquitoes, I took several good photographs of it before reburying it, in attempts to longer preserve the stone from thieving hands. Several stones have disappeared over the years, with visitors to the … Continue reading Howland Cemetery, Hanson, MA


The kids today went on a grand adventure, courtesy of The basic concept is that people take a waterproof container and place in it a logbook and a “treasure”, then post its coordinates on the website. Those with GPS technology can then search for the “caches”, sign the logbook, and take the treasure – so long as they leave behind a new treasure for the next explorers! The site has opportunities for great creativity – some of my favorites so far have been sites near cemeteries. They leave clues to find specific gravestones throughout the cemetery, then have equations … Continue reading Geocaching

Gettysburg National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

On the way home from DC, we stopped today at Gettysburg. Despite my love of American history and knowledge of the battles and details, I was not prepared for the sheer vastness of Gettysburg. Endless fields, and endless room for the imagination. The National Cemetery at Gettysburg was created in efforts to bury the dead from the Battle of Gettysburg. A quick look at Wikipedia lists the casualties as such:Union: 23,055 (3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded, 5,369 captured/missing)Confederate: 22,231 (4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded, 5,830 captured/missing)These numbers are unbelievable… the battle lasted 3 days from July 1-3, 1863, and was the bloodiest … Continue reading Gettysburg National Cemetery, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania