Saturday, June 29, 2013

#18: Historic Cemetery Tours

I'm not sure how I got on the Norfolk City Cemetery email list, but I get emails once a month about cleanups, gardening days and historical tours. By now you know my love of for a good cemetery so I had to check out the "historical tour." Deb and my friend Susie tagged along for what turned out to be a great event. More than 50 people showed up for the twilight tour of Elmwood Cemetery that started just after 7 p.m. If you're unfamiliar with Elmwood, it's on Princess Anne Road, between Monticello and Church Street. It's the newer of two adjacent cemeteries (Cedar Grove & Elmwood), yet dates back to 1824.

The walk was led by two women, one an employee of the city cemetery and the other a volunteer. It was interesting to learn that very cemetery is really the only existing evidence of the Victorian Era in Norfolk. Although, cemeteries during that era weren't viewed as creepy and eerie like in modern times. The people then viewed their loved ones as "resting" or "sleeping," rather than dead in the ground. Very elaborate headstones, sculptures and tombs were made so that when the family visited they would be surrounded by beautiful things. Makes sense, right?

It's unfortunate that a lot of funding has been dropped for the city cemeteries. The sheriff's office has to come and mow the grounds. They can't afford to pay someone to keep watch (or install a security system) of the property after hours, so various ornamental pieces have been stolen. Talk about bad karma, right?

It was too bad that rain cut our tour a little short, because I was actually learning a ton! I might have to catch it next month, as it occurs the last Friday of every month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. There is a suggested donation of $5, but they provide free water and bug spray, haha.

  I'm participating in my third 92 Days of Summer challenge. Read about the project here.