Wednesday, January 7, 2009


So today we are having this weather event of sorts. An ice storm overnight and today it is just slushy/rainy/icy and a weather warning is in effect until tomorrow at some point. While it messy out now we are supposed to get more snow tonight and more snow tomorrow. Welcome to the area of Rochester, New York on the south shore of Lake Ontario, a very large snow maker when it wants to be. Tromping around cemeteries is not the thing to do on a day like this so I will introduce myself.

My name is Sharon and I have been plugging away at my family history for about twenty five years (off and on) all because my mothers cousin Patsy Louisa Crox Underhill infected me with enthusiasm. Listening to her talk about her research hooked me and I have always been in love with history. I am not great at history but I love it.

I have been living in this area since I was 5 years old when my family moved here from Akron, Ohio. Monroe County is where Rochester sits and for the last 16 years I lived in Wayne County which is directly east and the town I lived in was a 20 minute drive to Rochester. Two months ago I moved to Canandaigua, New York, a very cute and small City and the County seat of Ontario County. I have beeboped through these three counties for much of my life.

I feel that cemeteries are a huge resource and should be preserved in any way possible and so the reason for my addition to The Graveyard Rabbit Association is simply that, cemeteries are a great resource and history.

This past fall I spent a lot of time in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester because a friend and I were doing a letter box scavenger hunt. I fell in love with this cemetery. It is old, beautiful and I had not realized that before as I was always there for the purpose to bury someone and was rather focused on the loss, not the beauty of this resting place. This cemetery has famous people like Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas buried there and Nathaniel Rochester, Rochester's founder is there too.

The history of Mount Home Cemetery from here The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery. :

"America's First Municipal Victorian CemeteryFormed by glaciers, this cemetery has high hills and deep valleys, winding eskers and almost bottomless kettles. The whole place is a forest of trees, many of them rare and specimen. Since 1838, a third of a million people have taken permanent residence in the cemetery's 197 acres. There are mausoleums dug deep into hillsides and everywhere myriad symbols of Victorian funerary art. In stone and bronze are soaring Egyptian obelisks, miniature Greek temples (one sleeps 20 with a lot of dancing room left over), winged angels of mercy, draped urns and broken columns, Gothic towers, and sculptures of everything from Christian saints to favorite pet dogs. They all gloriously decorate more than 350,000 graves that through the sea of vertical monuments, send a mighty chorus of hope heavenward. In fall and winter, Mount Hope becomes a rookery, and the trees appear to be fully leafed with the black bodies of crows. In summer, a high 1875 Florentine fountain cascades water from lions' mouths down through three basins held up by cast-iron caryatids."

There is a Civil War section of this cemetery and my plan is to
photgraph each stone and post it here. That is a start.

Ontario County has over 200 cemeteries so I think I will be very busy getting out there and bringing these three counties to life by way of tombstones and more.

Let the graveyard hopping begin.


  1. Welcome, Sharon, to the Association of Graveyard Rabbits! I look forward to your articles about the cemeteries of your area --- and especially to the photographs of the Civil War stones you mention.

    So, you got infected with enthusiasm too! Great!

    Terry Thornton

  2. Welcome Sharon from a native Niagaran (transplanted to Arizona)! I hope in the Spring to post about an interesting cemetery right smack in the midst of my old neighborhood (I'm waiting for snows to melt so I can ask former neighbors to take a photo of it for me).

  3. Welcome to the Graveyard Rabbits! I'm looking forward to reading your blog!