Category Archives: Good cemetery news

News about graveyards coming back from the brink, new uses for graveyards, or features on the people who care for them.

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I’ve been reading for years about author newsletters, how they are the best way to get information out to readers in a timely fashion. I’ve resisted the notion for a long time, figuring I blogged and I’m easy to find on the web, for anyone who might need to know what I’m up to.  But Facebook algorithms being what they are and spam filters working the way they do, I finally decided to join the bandwagon.  I have a new monthly newsletter — and the first issue is coming in the next couple of days.

This is the email I sent out last week.  You may have already gotten a copy. If so, you’ve probably already made your choice about joining the newsletter.  Let me stress that whatever choice you made, it’s fine.

If you joined the mailing list, welcome.  If you figure you hear plenty about my work elsewhere, lovely.  Either way, I will not email you again unless you clicked the link and joined the newsletter list.

For those of you who didn’t get the email (either your spam filter caught it or you weren’t on my invitation list), this is what I sent out.  People who sign up for the newsletter are welcome to download a token of my appreciation:

4Elements instagram

Just click the link in the letter below and it will walk you through the onboarding system.

Thanks for thinking about joining my newsletter!
Rhoads newsletter banner

Dear friend,

You’re receiving this note because we’ve been in contact in the last several years, whether because of my space opera trilogy, the Alondra stories, 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die, my travel essays, or through one of my blogs.

I’m finally launching a monthly email newsletter for people who don’t want the commitment of following a blog. Look for quick updates on my speaking & reading schedule, morbid travel destinations (probably a cemetery or two), and book giveaways.

If you’d be interested in receiving the newsletter no more than once a month, please sign up here.

If you’re not interested, you don’t need to do anything. I know you’re busy and I don’t want to clutter up your inbox. This is the one and only time I’ll send you an email about my newsletter.

Thanks for reading!

Loren Rhoads
Author & Editor

Rhoads Camp Fire lo-resPS. Last year, Northern California was struck by the worst wildfire in the area’s history. Paradise, California was scoured from the map. Nearly 100 people died and thousands were left homeless. In order to raise money for the survivors, I’ve edited Tales for the Camp Fire: A Charity Anthology Benefiting Wildfire Relief, a collection of short stories by Northern Californian horror writers. The book came out last month. There will be more details in my newsletter — or you can order it directly from Amazon.

The Future of Death

These are the slides to illustrate the talk I’m giving at the Nebula Conference tomorrow afternoon.

This is my first time sharing my slides like this, so I hope it works!

Cemetery Press in 2018

Considering I didn’t have a new book out in 2018, I was pleased with the attention that 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die continued to draw. It opened doors for me to speak at a bunch of new (to me) venues last year, too. Hopefully, I persuaded some new people to check out the beauty of these fragile historic places.

Book publications:

I put a collection of my cemetery essays up on Wattpad in July and August. Graveyard Field Trips: A Memoir gathers essays I published on Gothic.Net and GothicBeauty.com, along with the introduction to the original edition of Death’s Garden: Relationships with Cemeteries.

At the moment, I have a proposal out for my new book, The Pioneer Cemeteries of the San Francisco Bay Area, and another proposal for a nonfiction book with Lisa Morton, president of the Horror Writers Association, that I’m excited about.  Hopefully those books will find homes in 2019.

I’m not sure what cemetery project I’ll work on after those are done. Maybe I’ll finally finish the second volume of Death’s Garden.

Short Nonfiction Publications:

Four Graves for Harvey Milk” appeared on The Cemetery Club  to kick off Great Britain’s Gay Pride Month.

10 American Cemeteries to See Before You Die” appeared on The Daily Beast in April 2018. My collection of cemeteries to see in springtime was illustrated with images from 199 Cemeteries.

I wrote 9 cemetery columns for the Horror Writers Association’s newsletter about the histories of burial and cremation, cemetery ghost stories, and gravestone iconography.

The Madam’s Haunted Tomb” served as part of the Ghosts in the Graveyard series on Roxanne Rhoads’s All Things Halloween blog. I talked about a ghost legend centered on New Orleans’ Metairie Cemetery.

Here on CemeteryTravel.com, I was proud to put together a two-part series on the “Resting Places of Horror Icons.” Here’s part one.

Lectures:

At Cypress Lawn in Colma in September

I spoke to Angela Hennessy’s “Over My Dead Body” class at the California College of the Arts in February. My lecture, called “Memento Mori: Even Graveyards Die,” covered the demolition of the historic cemeteries of San Francisco.

In April, for the “Memento Mori” evening of the Reimagine End of Life week, I talked about the dismantling of “Laurel Hill Cemetery: San Francisco’s Garden Cemetery” at the Swedish American Hall.

I talked about how I came to write 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at the Association for Gravestone Studies conference in Danbury, Connecticut in June.

In September, I showed slides of my favorite cemeteries from 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

Professor Steven Brown invited me to talk about cemeteries to his horticultural class as San Francisco’s City College on October 1, 2018.

My last lecture of the year was near to my heart.  For years, I’ve wanted to trace the development of San Francisco’s Old Mission Cemetery through tourist postcards.  I finally got to do it as part of the Odd Salon’s “Cemetery Stories” event during the Litcrawl on 10/20/18. My lecture was called “Postcards from History.”

Podcasts:

Extreme Genes, my first genealogy podcast ever, chatted with me about cemeteries on 3/25/18. My bit starts 24 minutes in:
https://extremegenes.com/2018/02/25/episode-226-black-history-month-advances-in-african-american-research-199-cemeteries-to-see-before-you-die/

Venerable goth podcast Cemetery Confessions broadcast our conversation about cemeteries on 6/17/18:
http://www.thebelfry.rip/blog/2018/6/15/cemetery-expert-loren-rhoads

Mark from On the Odd chatted with me about 199 Cemeteries on October 26, 2018: https://ontheodd.com/199-cemeteries-to-see-before-you-die/

And I talked with Timothy Renner about cemeteries for his Strange Familiars podcast, but it hasn’t been released yet.

Print/Online Interviews:

“Loren Rhoads takes us through the gates of the Cemetery” for Women in Horror Month on Library of the Damnedhttp://libraryofthedamned.com/2018/02/22/wihm-interview-loren-rhoads-takes-us-through-the-gates-of-the-cemetery/

Sonora Taylor invited me by for a Q&A on her blog in August. Mostly we talked about 199 Cemeteries, but also got into my Alondra short stories: https://sonorawrites.com/2018/08/15/ask-the-author-a-qa-with-loren-rhoads/

Erin Al-Mehairi invited me by her Oh, for the Hook of a Book! blog for a long conversation about cemeteries and more on 10/30/18: https://hookofabook.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/hookinterview-cemetery-travel-writer-and-horror-author-loren-rhoads-lohf/

Articles:

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die continued to get some press attention this year, even though the book’s been out more than a year. Most of these stories were nice surprises when I stumbled across them online.

I served as a consultant about Potter’s Fields for “State-Funded Funerals: What Happens to the Unclaimed Dead” on How Stuff Works. I’m a fan of the podcast, so this was an honor. https://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/cultural-traditions/state-funded-funerals-what-happens-to-unclaimed-dead.htm

A feature story on 199 Cemeteries called “From Established to Eccentric, These Cemeteries are To Die For” appeared on Gonomad in April: https://www.gonomad.com/109276-from-established-to-eccentric-these-cemeteries

Lifestyles over 50 reprinted Larry Bleiberg’s “10 Great Cemeteries to See Before You Die”: https://lifestylesafter50.com/10-great-cemeteries-to-visit-before-you-die/

Atlas Obscura did a lovely piece called “In Search of Cemeteries Alive With Beauty, Art, and History” for Halloween: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/cemeteries-to-visit-before-you-die-monuments

Halloween Lifestyle cautioned readers “Don’t Die Before You see These Amazing Cemeteries”: http://www.halloween-lifestyle.com/2018/04/23/dont-die-before-seeing-these-amazing-cemeteries/

And the Steampunk Explorer put together an in-depth 3-part series of historic cemeteries that would appeal to those of a steampunk persuasion:

Part 1: USA and Canada
https://steampunk-explorer.com/articles/exploring-historic-cemeteries-part-i

Part 2: Europe
https://steampunk-explorer.com/articles/exploring-historic-cemeteries-part-ii

Part 3: The Rest of the World
https://steampunk-explorer.com/articles/exploring-historic-cemeteries-part-iii

Miscellaneous Good Things:

A catch-all category for things that made me smile this year.

199 Cemeteries made the preliminary ballot for the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award in Nonfiction. While the book didn’t advance to the final ballot, it was still an honor to make the long list.

The podcast Two Girls One Ghost read my fan letter on air after they mentioned 199 Cemeteries in an earlier episode. Here’s a link to their Haunted Cemeteries podcast: https://audioboom.com/posts/6692482-episode-27-rest-in-peace which originally aired on 2/25/18.

199 Cemeteries made a Buzzfeed list! “30 Gorgeous Products for Anyone with a Morbid Mind”  appeared on 4/13/18: https://www.buzzfeed.com/malloryannp/gorgeous-products-morbid-mind

I came across the first edition of Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel listed on Amazon for $1200. I’d gladly set you up with one for 10 bucks.

Sonora Taylor mentioned 199 Cemeteries in her list “October Reads: Time for (More) Darkness” recommendation list on 10/5/18: https://sonorawrites.com/2018/10/05/october-reads-time-for-more-darkness/

Finally, I got to provide a cover blurb for the first time.  I am really excited about Erin-Marie Legacey’s Making Space for the Dead, which is coming from Cornell University Press in April 2019. You can preorder it on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RkuyiT.

My Last Cemetery Lecture of the Season

1930 mission linen bells002This Saturday night, I’ll be using my collection of cemetery postcards to illustrate the changes to the oldest European-style cemetery in Northern California.
My talk will be part of the fabled Litcrawl in San Francisco’s Mission District. I’ll be joined by Odd Salon Fellows Laura Rubin and Casey Selden for tales from the surprising history of cities of the dead.

Odd Salon: Cemetery Stories

Saturday October 20, 2018 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Admission is FREE!

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Loren Rhoads

Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. She blogs about graveyards as travel destinations at CemeteryTravel.com. She’ll be talking about San Francisco’s Mission Dolores.

 

Laura Rubin

Odd Salon Fellow. She’ll be talking about London’s Funeral Railway.

 

Casey Selden

Casey Selden is a Fellow of Odd Salon and a fermentation dabbler. She’s made beer, cider and wine for kicks in her kitchen. She’ll be talking about a grave in Chicago and the woman who goes along with it.

Expert talks on odd topics; odd talks on everything else.

Cemetery Books for Sale

It’s time to clear out some of my extra cemetery books.  There will be more, but for now, here’s the list of what I have for sale.  Let me know (either in the comments below or through the Contact Me form above) if you are interested in any of these and give me your mailing address, so I can check the postage for you. PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE POSTAGE.

I take paypal.

NOW AVAILABLE:

Green-Wood 002Green-Wood 001The Green-Wood Cemetery
Walk #1: Battle Hill and Back
Walk #2: Valley & Sylvan Waters
by Jeffrey I. Richman
Published by The Green-Wood Cemetery, 2001. Spiral bound.  Two walking tours of this lovely garden cemetery. I bought the books from the cemetery, but they’ve never been used.
$20 for both.

Abney Park001Guide to Abney Park Cemetery
by Paul Joyce
Essay, listing of interesting graves, some b/w photographs of one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries.
Rare, out-of-print. In good shape.
Second edition from 1994.
$30

Igualada bookIgualada Cemetery
by Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos
Very rare architectural study of a new modern cemetery in Barcelona. These start at $100 on Amazon.
The edges have discolored very slightly over time. Published in 1996.
$20

Tomb SculptureTomb Sculpture: Its Changing Aspects from Ancient Egypt to Bernini
by Erwin Panofsy
Henry N. Abrams, 1970. Paperback reading copy with some shelfwear. This collects 4 lectures given by a scholar who was considered the “greatest interpreter of the meaning of art.”  It contains 471 crisp black & white photos of tomb sculpture. A really lovely book, but showing its age.
$20

RIPR.I.P. Memorial Wall Art
by Martha Cooper and Joseph Sciorra
1994, Henry Holt. Paperback with some slight edgewear, but still very tightly bound. This is a study of memorial murals painted when someone in the neighborhood died, often by violence. The photos are full color throughout.  If you’re interested in urban memorialization or graffiti, this is for you.
$10

Milltown CemeteryMilltown Cemetery: A Brief History
by Raymond J. Quinn and Joe Baker
Undated 1st edition signed by Joe Baker. An oversized saddlestitched paperback focuses on a Nationalist cemetery in Belfast, examining the history of the Troubles as recorded in the gravestones and news stories of the day. This is not available on Amazon.
$15

Friar BushTwo Acres of Irish History: A Study through Time of Friar’s Bush and Belfast 1570-1918
by Eamon Phoenix
2001, Ulster Historical Foundation. An oversized saddlestitched paperback focuses on Friar’s Bush, the oldest Christian site in Belfast, with ties to St. Patrick. The cemetery contains a cholera pit and memorials to historic citizens of Belfast. It contains a map, walking tour, and some b/w photos.
$10

Arlington001Here Rests in Honored Glory: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery
By R. Conrad Stein
Weekly Reader Books, 1979.  Hardcover, in great shape. A kids’ book on the cemetery’s history. Great for introducing a kid to the appeal of cemeteries.
$5

The Grave001The Grave
by Robert Blair
Spiral bound, letterpress printed by Cary G. Birdwell.
Just an unillustrated copy of this lovely, morbid poem.  The poem was first published in 1747.
$5

Remember Me001Remember Me: A Lively Tour of the New American Way of Death
by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Collins, 2006. Mary Roach says this is “A must-read for anyone who plans on dying.”  No photos, but the text is inclusive.  Trade paperback reading copy with dog-eared pages.
$5

Mystery of Life001The story behind “The Mystery of Life” plus a Pictorial Map and Guide to the Famous Art Treasures of Forest Lawn and another Forest Lawn brochure
Saddlestitched. Discoloration on cover from a price sticker.
Rare advertising booklet from the original Forest Lawn about one of their over-the-top fountain sculptures.
$10

Tombstone Tourist001Tombstone Tourist: Musicians
by Scott Stanton
First edition from 1998.  This is a very comprehensive encyclopedia of musicians’ graves around the world, with a particular focus on the graves of bluesmen. Autographed but cover is not in great shape. Tightly bound. One dog-eared page.
$5

I ALSO HAVE NEW COPIES OF:

WYWHere - CoverWish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel
by Loren Rhoads
Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel contains 35 graveyard travel essays, which visit more than 50 cemeteries, churchyards, and gravesites across the globe. More info here.
2nd edition. New trade paperback.
$15

Cover of the Cemetery Travels Notebook

Cemetery Travels Notebook
by Loren Rhoads
The Cemetery Travels Notebook is the place to keep field notes from your own cemetery adventures. It features 80 lined pages, interspersed with 20 lush full-page color photographs of cemeteries from Paris to Tokyo, with stops at Sleepy Hollow, San Francisco, and all points between, to inspire your wanderlust.
New trade paperback.
$20

ON HOLD:

Sacred New OrleansSacred: New Orleans Funerary Grounds
by Elizabeth Huston
Photomoinium Press, first edition paperback. Lovely black & white — and some colorized — photos document the cemeteries of New Orleans before Katrina struck. A nice companion with Consecrated Ground.
$10

Victorian CelebrationThe Victorian Celebration of Death
by James Stevens Curl
First edition, hardcover.  Sutton, 2000. This book covers everything from cemeteries to mourning jewelry, exploring the history and the philosophical change in the way the dead were regarded in Victorian England.  Full of pretty black and white images, from photos to etchings.
$25

Mexican001The Mexican Day of the Dead
by Chloe Sayer
Shambala, 1990. Small paperback. Some dog-ears. Lots of color and b/w photographs. This book helped bring Dia de los Muertos in an English-reading audience.
$5

Last Laugh001The Last Laugh: A Completely New Collection of Funny Old Epitaphs
by Gail Peterson
Published by Hallmark Editions.
Small hardcover with dust jacket. Jacket has small rips. A collection of very silly epitaphs, perfect for a gift for just the right person.
$2

photoConsecrated Ground: Funerary Art of New Orleans
by Lisa L. Cook
Pixieco Press, 1998. This HUGE (15” x 12”) beautiful hardcover collection is absolutely stuffed with black and white photographs. It’s signed by the photographer.  This will cost extra to mail.
$25

Graven Image New EnglandGraven Images: New England Stonecarving and its Symbols 1650-1815
by Allan I. Ludwig
1966, Wesleyan University Press. First edition, paperback.  Still tightly bound, but the bottom edge has foxed and there’s some slight shelfwear. This is the masterwork that expanded the study of stonecarving in New England.  It is packed full of black & white photos of skulls, skeletons, and deaths heads.
$25