Halloween Read: “The American Resting Place: 400 Years of History Through Our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds” by Marilyn Yalom

american resting place

Graveyard iconography is everywhere at Halloween–from decorations to haunted history tours to hanging around in cemeteries on Halloween night to see if there are ghosts.  Particularly  here in New England, where in some places you can’t even take a walk in the woods without tripping over an old boneyard.

115o_waldoboro_from_graveyard_med
Old German Meetinghouse Cemetery, Waldoboro

The American Resting Place examines the history of the graveyard in America over four hundred years, moving chronologically.  She talks about Native American practices as well as those the many different kinds of colonists brought along with them.

October_2014_Portland_Maine_20141025-DSC_5105 By Corey Templeton Eastern Cemetery Fall Sunset small
Eastern Cemetery, Portland (Corey Templeton Photography)

The overall vibe of this book is one of peace, reflection, and restfulness.  The photographs, taken by Yalom’s son Reid, are beautiful–all different sorts of American graveyards are represented.

mount hope
Mount Hope Cemetery, Bangor

Striking photographs, fascinating history, and the feeling of taking a nice (if slightly macabre) walk–if you can’t make it to a local cemetery tour this Halloween, this book is the next best thing!

ancient cemetery
Ancient Cemetery, Wiscasset
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