Sunday, November 2, 2008


Are you a taphophile? If you have "a strong interest in graves and cemeteries," you are. And really, if you're reading here, I'm guessing you probably do!

Today's trip was to a cemetery in West Philadelphia called "The Woodlands". Formerly the estate of a prominent botanist, the cemetery itself has been in existence since approximately 1840, and several famous people are interred there, including Joseph Campbell, the founder of Campell's Soup, and Philadelphia artist Thomas Eakins.

I took some pictures and will post them shortly, but my overall impressions of the cemetery were favorable. It's a beautiful site, with lovely trees and greenspaces, and the graves, for the most part, are well cared for, though some are definitely suffering the effects of wear. There were a few tilted markers, and several crosses that appeared to have been lopped off their moorings, but for the most part, everything was tidy and well-tended.

It would be a formidable project to index the graves in this graveyard, but probably very doable since the hours of the graveyard are regular and it's in an extremely safe neighborhood. I plan to talk to the curator/groundspeople a little to make sure it hasn't already been done, but if not, I say we go for it!


Warren said...

I've been to the Woodlands and used their office staff personal. They are very helpful and knowledgeable about the cemetery. They seem to have all of the burials recorded and can access their dB from their office computers. To the best of my knowledge their dB isn't on line. It would well worth investigating why and perhaps a little help might prode them into putting it on line.


Philly Graveyard Rabbit said...

That's a great idea, thanks--I will check with them. If it's a tech matter for them, I'd be happy to try and help them get it up...I'm sure there are bunches of people who'd love to be able to research their list.