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Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries (Images of America: Pennsylvania) Paperback – August 11, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


Keels provides an astonishing amount of historical and visual commentary on the entire range of Philadelphia's cemeteries....The chapter on African American burial sites is exemplary.  --CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship, Summer 2005

Keels details the fates of long-forgotten graveyards....He discusses with passion the living neighborhood histories, and how too quickly our societies have allowed these memorials to fall. --Philadelphia City Paper, January 22-28, 2004

About the Author

Thomas H. Keels is a Philadelphia writer, historian, and cemetery tour guide. His first book, Chestnut Hill, was published by Arcadia in 2002.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (August 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073851229X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738512297
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Keels is the author of six published books on Philadelphia, with a seventh in progress:

-- Philadelphia's Golden Age of Retail (with Lawrence M. Arrigale). Arcadia Publishing, 2012.
-- Wicked Philadelphia: Sin in the City of Brotherly Love. The History Press, 2010.
-- Forgotten Philadelphia: Lost Architecture of the Quaker City. Temple University Press, 2007.
-- Philadelphia Graveyards and Cemeteries. Arcadia Publishing, 2003.
-- Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square (with Robert Morris Skaler). Arcadia Publishing, 2008.
-- Chestnut Hill (with Elizabeth Farmer Jarvis). Arcadia Publishing, 2002.

Tom is currently working on a book entitled Rainbow Cities, about Philadelphia's world's fairs, under contract to Temple University Press.

Besides his books, Tom is a lecturer, tour guide, writer, and commentator specializing in Philadelphia history and architecture.

Tom has spoken to the American Institute of Architects (Philadelphia chapter), American Revolution Roundtable, Chestnut Hill Historical Society, Curtis Institute of Music, Franklin Inn Club, Free Library of Philadelphia, Friends of Independence National Historical Park, Harvard Club of Philadelphia, Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, Springfield Township Historical Society, and Union League of Philadelphia.

Recently, Tom appeared in "Philly Firsts," a documentary that premiered on PBS39 in June 2011. Other media appearances include Radio Times on WHYY-FM, Creatively Speaking on WRTI-FM, PA Books on the Pennsylvania Cable Network, Action News on WPVI-TV, and Good Day Philadelphia on FOX-TV. His articles have appeared in the Rittenhouse Sq. Revue, Germantown Crier, and many local newspapers.

Tom has been a tour guide at Laurel Hill Cemetery for over a decade. He has also given tours of the Woodlands, West Laurel Hill Cemetery, and other historic sites. He has conducted classes on Philadelphia cemetery history for the Bucks County Community College Historic Preservation Program, Cheltenham Township Adult School, and Mount Airy Learning Tree.

Visit Tom's web site at!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Terry M. Callen on October 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just got this book yesterday and I highly recommend it for any fan of old cemeteries.
The author really drives home the point of how callous we've become as a society when political patronage, urban blight. etc. have caused these once-beautiful places to fall into decay and neglect and finally to disappear. I think that point needs to be made.
It made me sick when I learned that these places were replaced by playgrounds, athletic fields...and housing projects (which we all know bring nothing but crime and drugs to the neighborhoods in which they are built). The playground that replaced Ronaldson's on 9th Street in South Philadelphia is a dreary, ugly place. For that, an cemetery dating back to 1827 was uprooted? The same with Lafayette, across the street from the famous Pat's Steaks, which was also displaced for a playground!
I've wondered many times what the "lost" and long-gone cemeteries like Machpelah, Union, American Mechanics, Olive, etc. looked like. This book satisfied much of my curiosity about those places with the black and white photos in it.
It is a great read and a must for any taphophile's library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Deborah W. Seigman on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The price was right on Amazon, as usual, especially when compared to what this line of historical books cost at bookstores and gift shops in my hometown in PA. I spend hours perusing the pages, because my ancestors, some pre-Revolutionary settlers and others turn-of-the-century immigrants, are from the Philadelphia area. Great photos and clues of where I may look to trace down genealogy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. Wallace on January 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
I'm a photographer and write who spends a great deal of time shooting and researching the history of cemeteries, especially in the Philadelphia area. This book is a great resource of locations and histories that has aided me well. Like most of the other books from this publisher, the focus is in depth enough to interest the casual reader or the enthusiast without being too light on detail or getting too bogged down in information, making it a chore to read.

Highly recommended for those who have an interest in cemeteries, urban planning or Philadelphia history.
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