$5 – $15

Gravestone Girls - Tombstone Talk and Interactive Tour

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Mount Vernon Cementery

140 Worcester Street

508-835-3711 (Beaman Library)

West Boylston, MA 01583

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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Tombstone Talk and Interactive Tour: Mount Vernon Cemetery

Cemeteries are not just collections of tombstones identifying their below-ground inhabitants. Upon closer inspection, gravestones often portray beautiful graphics ranging from the spiritually uplifting to the cryptically spooky, as well as epitaphs that can deliver humorous or even blunt messages of warning to cemetery visitors.

Consider these examples from New England grave markers:

“I told you I was sick.”

“Take note passerby, as you are now so once was I. As I am now so shall you be, prepare for death and follow me.”

“That’s all, folks!”

That last epitaph, inscribed in Looney Tunes script, can be found in West Boylston’s own Mount Vernon Cemetery, located just off the town common, behind Our Lady of Good Counsel Church.

What other unique images and messages about the passed people and past times of West Boylston does our local cemetery present to us?

You can find out during a talk and interactive tour of Mount Vernon Cemetery, to be held on Sept. 16 from 10 a.m.–noon. Sponsored by The Friends of Beaman Memorial Public Library, the tour will be led by cemetery historian Brenda Sullivan, a principal of The Gravestone Girls. With permission of the Mount Vernon Cemetery Commission, the event will include a gravestone rubbing demonstration and the opportunity for participants to do their own revealing (and non-damaging) rubbings of decades- or even centuries-old gravemarkers.

As Sullivan states on her website, www.gravestonegirls.com, “Don’t be scared of those old cemeteries, they are unique and interesting places full of folk art and history found only in New England! The images on old gravestones are considered the first graphic art of the New World and communicated messages to individuals and the community at large about virtues, ethics and standards of behavior. These objects can be more than 300 years old and still stand on the landscape in a virtual museum which serves as a gateway between the past and the present.”

The fee for the interactive tour and talk is $5 per person, capped at $15 per family, and includes gravestone rubbing supplies. To be held rain or shine; bring umbrellas if necessary. Preregistration is requested; please visit Beaman Memorial Public Library to sign-up.

The beautiful Holbrook Chapel at the entrance of Mount Vernon Cemetery will also be open for tours.

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Date and Time

Location

Mount Vernon Cementery

140 Worcester Street

508-835-3711 (Beaman Library)

West Boylston, MA 01583

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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