Language of the Stones

Virtual Funerary Symbolism Program on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm

Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries feature hundreds of examples of beautifully carved funerary symbols. In Victorian America, formal bereavement was an accepted cultural institution. Mourning was observed through many non-spoken rituals to commemorate the dead. The use of symbolism in funerary monuments became increasingly important in how to memorialize a life that had passed, and impart information about how that life was lived; thereby creating an entire visual language around grief, mourning and bereavement. These symbols speak to us across the decades, if we only know how to interpret them. In this Zoom presentation, we will explore the both cemeteries to unlock the hidden meanings of these historic monuments.

This virtual talk will take place on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 6:00 pm. A zoom link will be in your confirmation email upon registration.

Ticket pricing is pay-what-you-wish. Contributions will support the work of the Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries. You can contribute through the RSVP link.

Tour Guide: Linda Blowney

Pay-What-You-Wish 



    Spirits and Spiritualists

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill on Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11:00 am

    People have been trying to communicate with the dead since ancient times. This desire sprang up anew in mid-19th century America, shortly after the founding of Laurel Hill Cemetery. Spiritualism, as…

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    Liberty or Death

    A Revolutionary War walking tour at Laurel Hill on Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 1:00 PM

    The American Revolution began with the first exchange of fire between British and American forces at Lexington on April 19. Tensions building between the colonists and the British authorities had fina…

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    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

    Walking Tour at West Laurel Hill on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 11:00 am

    The expansion of Fairmount Park in the 1860s prevented further growth of Laurel Hill, and in 1869 our sister cemetery, West Laurel Hill, was established just across the river in Bala Cynwyd. This gene…

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    Drip Drop, You’re Dead

    Water As Witness Walking Tour at Laurel Hill on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Whether it be frozen on mountaintops, liquid in the ocean, forming into rivers and streams, flowing through underground piping, bubbling up from deep wells, or exiting via faucets and into bathtubs, w…

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    5Rhythms Waves Class

    Dance Class at Laurel Hill on Sunday, April 25, 2021 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

    The Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries are partnering with 5 Rhythms to explore the joy of dance through a waves class, once a month from March to November. Join us for ecstatic mov…

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    Full Moon Astronomy

    Astronomy Viewing and Activities at Laurel Hill on Tuesday, April 27, 2020 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

    Enjoy Laurel Hill under the light of a full moon for telescope viewing and astronomy activities with local astronomers and educators. What better place to take in the wonders of the night sky! If you …

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    Boneyard Bookworms

    Virtual Book Club on Thursday, April 29, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The April Boneyard Bookworm selection is The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan From Amazon.com: Doctors have struggled for centuries to define insanity–how do you diagnose it, how do you treat i…

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    Arbor Day Scavenger Hunt

    Friday, April 30 - Sunday, May 2

    Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries together form a 265-acre Level II Accredited Arboretum with over 4,000 trees of over 500 different species and cultivars! On Arbor Day weekend, you can comp…

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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 11:00 am

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Philadelphia Trees with Paul Meyer

    Walking Tour, Book Signing and Reception at West Laurel Hill on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 5:00 pm

    Join Paul Meyer, retired F. Otto Haas executive director of Morris Arboretum, and Aaron Greenberg, Arboretum Manager of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries and Arboretum for an exclusive tour …

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    Death Cafe

    Virtual Program on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Death Café is a unique opportunity for the public to meet and discuss death. For this installment, we are meeting virtually on Zoom! This group-led discussion has no specific agenda and serves as a w…

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    Preparing to Honor America’s Heroes

    Volunteer Flag Placement on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 10:00 AM

    The General Meade Society of Philadelphia, in conjunction with the Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries, call all volunteers to assist in preparing for the nation’s Memorial Day comm…

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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Virtual Program on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Afternoon Out with Our Dearly Departed

    Walking Tour and Victorian Picnic at Laurel Hill on Sunday, May 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Before the existence of public parks and botanical gardens, there were few retreats from the crowded city for 19th-century Philadelphians. Boasting breathtaking art, stunning architecture and carefull…

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    5Rhythms Waves Class

    Dance Class at Laurel Hill on Sunday, May 23, 2021 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

    The Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries are partnering with 5 Rhythms to explore the joy of dance through a waves class, once a month from March to November. Join us for ecstatic move…

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    Laurel Hill Goes to the Movies

    Evening Walking Tour at Laurel Hill on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Lights, Camera, Laurel Hill!! Take a close-up look at the many ways Laurel Hill Cemetery is connected to the celluloid arts. Thrill to the story of the stunt man who adopted Roy Rogers’ horse! Be…

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    Boneyard Bookworms

    Virtual Program on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The May Boneyard Bookworm selection is The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature by J. Drew Lanham. This edition of Boneyard Bookworms is part of the Longwood Gardens Commu…

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    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

    Walking Tour at West Laurel Hill on Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 11:00 am

    The expansion of Fairmount Park in the 1860s prevented further growth of Laurel Hill, and in 1869 our sister cemetery, West Laurel Hill, was established just across the river in Bala Cynwyd. This gene…

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    Memorial Day Ceremony

    Hosted by the General Meade Society on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 12:00 pm

    Recreating the Original G.A.R. Decoration Day Service of 1868: The traditional Decoration Day service of the Grand Army Meade Post #1 will be recreated at Historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, 3822 Ridge Ave…

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    Cinema in the Cemetery

    SAVE THE DATE BY SIGNING UP FOR THE TICKET WAITING LIST

    Pack a picnic, gather some friends or a date, and enjoy an evening or two under the stars. As the sun sets over the historic tombs, the grainy joys of the film experience will be brought to life durin…

    Read MoreWaiting List for The Philadelphia Story at West Laurel Hill on June 26, 2021Waiting List for Little Shop of Horrors at Laurel Hill on July 17, 2021Waiting List for Wall-E at West Laurel Hill on August 14, 2021Waiting List for Phantom of the Opera at Laurel Hill on August 28, 2021


    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour at Laurel Hill on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 10:00 am

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Landscape Painting

    Workshop with Roger Chavez at Laurel Hill on Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13, 2021 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

    Take on the challenge of painting from the landscape at Laurel Hill Cemetery. The ever-changing subject can bring a beneficial approach to your own painting with rapid thinking and swift mark-making, …

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    Hot Spots and Storied Plots

    Walking Tour on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 10:00 am

    In life and in death, we all have stories to tell and what better place to hear tales of wonder than Philadelphia’s most famous home of the dead? This talk provides an informative overview of Laurel…

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    Sacred Spaces and Storied Places

    Walking Tour on Sunday, June 20, 2020 at 10:00 am

    The expansion of Fairmount Park in the 1860s prevented further growth of Laurel Hill, and in 1869 our sister cemetery, West Laurel Hill, was established just across the river in Bala Cynwyd. This gene…

    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    5Rhythms Wave Class

    Dance Class at Laurel Hill on Sunday, June 27, 2021 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm

    The Friends of Laurel Hill & West Laurel Hill Cemeteries are partnering with 5 Rhythms to explore the joy of dance through a waves class, once a month from March to November. Join us for ecstatic move…

    Read MorePurchase Tickets


    Market of the Macabre Vendor Guide

    Apply to be a vendor for Market of the Macabre by July 15, 2021

    Thank you for your interest in being a vendor. Here is the 2021 planning guide so you know what to expect. If you have any questions about the vendor application or planning guide, contact Cat Abouda…

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    13th Annual Car & Hearse Show

    Presented by Mohnton Professional Car Club on Sunday, August 1, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

    Mohnton Professional Car Club (MPCC) welcomes owners of any and all hearses, ambulances, flower cars, limousines and other service vehicles to participate in its 11th Annual Service Car and Hearse Sho…

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