Laurel Hill Cemetery

Laurel Hill Cemetery, a historic cemetery or garden in East Falls, Philadelphia is a rural cemetery. It was established in 1836 and was the second largest rural cemetery in America after Mount Auburn Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts.

The cemetery covers 74 acres (300,000 m2) and overlooks the Schuylkill River. Four land parcels were purchased between 1836-1861 to increase the cemetery's size. It has more than 11,000 family lots, and more than 33,000 graves. Many are adorned with elaborately sculpted hillside mausoleums and marble funerary monuments.

Levi Twiggs, a U.S. Marine Corps officer, served during the War of 1812 and the Seminole Wars as well as the Mexican-American War.

Samuel Gibbs French, a Confederate Army major-general, was born in France. Although he is buried in Florida, his family built this cenotaph in Laurel Hill in his honor.

Henry Dmochowski–Saunders, a Polish sculptor, carved the Mother and Twins Monument. It depicts Helena Schaff, his wife, and their two children who have died.

Alexander Milne Calder's sculpture on William Warner memorial depicts a woman liberating a soul from a Sarcophagus.

William J. Mullen was a prisoner agent at Moyamensing Prison. His monument was built by Daniel Kornbau, and exhibited at 1876 Centennial Exhibition

Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler was the US Coast Survey and Standards of Weight and Measures Superintendent

2013 saw the removal of a bronze statue in 1883 depicting a Civil War soldier to Laurel Hill Cemetery. Cast at the Bureau Brothers Foundry in 700 pound, "The Silent Sentry", stands 7 feet 2 inches high. It was placed in Mount Moriah Cemetery, Philadelphia in 1883 by Soldiers' Home of Philadelphia. The statue was taken from its base by thieves in 1970. They tried to sell it as scrap metal at a Camden, New Jersey scrap yard. However, the scrap dealer alerted authorities. The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States recovered it and repaired it. The statue was rededicated in Laurel Hill Cemetery in 2013.

Today, Laurel Hill Cemetery attracts thousands of tourists every year for its historical tours, concerts and physical recreation.

1973 was the year that Laurel Hill changed its policy and allowed burials of African-Americans in the cemetery.

The Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery was established in 1978 by John Jay Smith's descendants to support the cemetery. The Friends' mission is to support the Laurel Hill Cemetery Company in preserving, promoting and preserving the historic character of Laurel Hill. The Friends raise funds and solicit contributions; prepare educational materials and research materials emphasizing Laurel Hill Cemetery's historical, architectural, and cultural importance; and provide tours guides to educate the public. The Friends were instrumental in Laurel Hill Cemetery being placed on the National Register of Historic Places (in 1977) and designated as a National Historic Landmark (in 1998).

Philadelphia PA SS United States
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