Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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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...

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A Word about Grave Location

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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

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pp. xii-xii

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Introduction: Our Silent Cities

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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...

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1. The History and Development of the Cemetery

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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...

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2. The Cemeteries of Grand

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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...

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3. The Art and Architecture of the Cemetery

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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...

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Conclusion: The Future of the Cemetery

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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...

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Acknowledgments

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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

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pp. 251-264

Bibliography

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pp. 265-270

Index

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pp. 271-280