We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

The Art of Memory

Historic Cemeteries of Grand Rapids, Michigan

Thomas R. Dilley

Publication Year: 2014

In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, the look and feel of cemeteries in the United States changed dramatically, from utilitarian burial grounds to the serene park-like spaces that we know today. The so-called park cemetery was innovative not only for its distinctive landscape architecture but also because, for the first time, its staff took on the tasks of designing, running, and maintaining the cemetery itself, leading to a very consistent appearance. By the mid-1800s, the influence of park cemeteries began to spread from big cities on the east coast to the Midwest—eventually producing fifteen transitional examples in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In The Art of Memory: Historic Cemeteries of Grand Rapids, Michigan Thomas R. Dilley details the history of Grand Rapids’ park cemeteries, finding that their development mimicked national trends and changing cultural beliefs about honoring the dead. Dilley begins by outlining the history and evolution of cemetery design from its earliest days to present, including information about key design elements and descriptions of important designers. He continues by introducing readers to the fifteen historic cemeteries located in the city of Grand Rapids, detailing their histories, formats, and developmental changes along with more than two hundred photos. The cemeteries are divided between public and private properties, and are discussed chronologically, according to the dates of their founding. Dilley also considers the artistic and architectural forms that appear in the Grand Rapids cemeteries, including a thorough discussion of the religious and decorative symbols used on markers, the use of sometimes florid epitaphs, and variations in the form, structure, and materials of cemetery markers of the time. A brief section on the future of the cemetery and an extensive list of bibliographic sources and suggestions for further reading round out this informative volume. Readers with roots in Grand Rapids as well as those interested in social and cultural history will enjoy The Art of Memory.

Published by: Wayne State University Press

Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-viii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-x

My fascination with the burial places of Grand Rapids can be reliably dated to a Friday afternoon in the fall about fifty years ago, when my older sister Kathy and I rode the city bus downtown from our parents’ home in the southeast end. Our purpose was to attend the weekly practice of the Junior Choir at...

read more

A Word about Grave Location

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xi-xi

All the cemeteries of Grand Rapids, whether public or private, have maps of their layouts, many of which are quite useful in locating the many graves, markers, and monuments that are discussed in this book. Making use of the excellent comprehensive database created by the City of Grand Rapids, which includes nearly all the burials...

Cemetery Map

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xii-xii

read more

Introduction: Our Silent Cities

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. xiii-xvi

It has been correctly observed that much of what we know of our most ancient forebears comes to us from the study of their graves and tombs. This truth is clearly evident in any study of Neolithic peoples as well as the histories of the earliest Native peoples of most any part of the world, including North and South...

read more

1. The History and Development of the Cemetery

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-22

The need for earthly interment of human remains has always been a matter of significance from the very beginnings of human civilization. From the first, most ancient days of human habitation, the necessity of disposal of the dead, even among primitive peoples who possessed not the slightest understanding of medical...

read more

2. The Cemeteries of Grand

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 23-116

After its founding in 1826, Grand Rapids, Michigan, like many settlements in the Old Northwest, grew in response to the industry and drive of its early settlers: first into a village and eventually to a city of significant size and sophistication. The influences and effects that were present in the middle and late nineteenth...

read more

3. The Art and Architecture of the Cemetery

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 117-244

An obvious and integral part of the viewing of any cemetery, of whatever type or vintage, is the nature and appearance of the monuments found there. Whether a humble headstone, an imposing sculpture, or an ornate mausoleum, all of these monuments not only fill the necessary functions of identification and remembrance, they also provide...

read more

Conclusion: The Future of the Cemetery

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 245-248

Significant changes have occurred in the use and appearance of both public and private cemeteries in Grand Rapids during the nearly two centuries that have passed since the opening of Fulton Street Cemetery, then on the eastern edge of the village of Grand Rapids. The first, utilitarian burial sites, largely devoid of any consistent...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 249-250

I have received the generous assistance of many people in the course of this project, all of whom patiently tolerated my innumerable questions.
Several employees of the City of Grand Rapids, particularly within the Department of Parks and Cemeteries, provided useful guidance. Jay Steffen, formerly director of parks and cemeteries and now in the planning division, as...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 251-264

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 265-270

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 271-280


E-ISBN-13: 9780814340202
Print-ISBN-13: 9780814340196

Page Count: 264
Illustrations: 236
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 892777785
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Art of Memory