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Stones and Bones of New England: A Guide To Unusual, Historic, And Otherwise Notable Cemeteries Paperback – September 1, 2004


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Stones and Bones of New England: A Guide To  Unusual, Historic, And Otherwise Notable Cemeteries + Our History In Stone: The New England Cemetery Dictionary + Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press; 1st edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762730005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762730001
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Whether it's for their solace and beauty or for the sense of history that seeps from the ground, cemeteries are fascinating places to visit. Some are the final resting places of famous authors, soldiers, and statesmen, while others are more notable for their intricate headstones and memorable epitaphs. All have their own unique characteristics and stories to tell. In Stones and Bones of New England, author Lisa Rogak tells the tales of nearly one hundred of the most intriguing burial grounds in all seven New England states. Included are: *Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, where elaborately carved sculptures of angels and Greek goddesses can be found next to engravings of an oil truck and a soccer ball *Spider Gates Cemetery, in Leicester, Massachusetts, a notoriously haunted old Quaker burying ground that is still in use *Common Burying Ground in Newport, Rhode Island, which contains the graves of African Americans (both free and slave) from Newport's colonial trade days *Milford Cemetery in Milford, Connecticut, where Mary Fowler's tombstone bears the epitaph, "How soon she's ripe how soon she's rotten / Sent to her grave and soon forgotten." This highly readable guide also provides all the tools you need to explore on your own, with location information and glossaries that demystify the meaning behind hundreds of commonly carved symbols and headstone abbreviations. Insightful commentaries and interesting facts about funeral customs and traditions make this an engaging resource for casual visitors and ardent taphophiles alike.

About the Author

Lisa Rogak is the author of more than twenty nonfiction books on cooking, travel, careers, country living, and other topics. She also runs a unique business selling antique funeral memorabilia on the Internet. She lives in Grafton, New Hampshire.

More About the Author

I'm an independent journalist going on more than 30 years as a full-time writer, a fact that surprises even me! In that time, I've written about everything from high-tech and cats to food and travel.

Writing has provided me with a fascinating, adventurous life. I wake up each morning looking forward to discovering what new things I'll learn that day. After all this time, it never ceases to amaze me that I have been able to make my living by indulging my curiosity and asking total strangers really nosy questions...

My latest books include Dogs of Courage: The Heroism and Heart of Working Dogs Around the World, Dan Brown: The Unauthorized Biography, and Pope Francis in His Own Words.

After spending a year traveling around the world as a full-time vagabond, I now split my time between New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Customer Reviews

This book had promise, but it never lived up to it.
Claudia Burt Green
The author's intent wasn't to be comprehensive, but rather to whet the appetite and provide a little guidance on the subject.
Bluestalking Reader
For those keeping count, New England consists of six states, not seven.
Betsy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bette VINE VOICE on June 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book begs for a road trip...by the author! A truly phenomenal book on this subject would have required more than just research. Visits to most every graveyard/cemetery in New England (anyone traveling through small New England towns can tell you that there is much more to see than those listed in the book), plus interviews with the locals and families that date back centuries, seems necessary.

Much of what is in the book seems to be simply research, which could be done by anyone on the internet and at local New England libraries. Each cemetery listed mentions only one or two graves of interest. Also, each state section of the book should have had its own introduction including some history of the state, as well as lore. And while this doesn't need to be a gothic novel featuring Barnabas and Quentin Collins, narrative on the meaning, legends, lore and FEEL of graveyards in New England could have added so much more, including color photos taken during all four seasons. I am reminded of a book on ghosts in New England (forgive me for not recalling the author or title); that author visited many towns and interviewed locals to "get the scoop." Whether you believe the legends or not, it was a great read because of the amount of information provided by locals.

Seems like a rush job. With more work, the book could have been an invaluable resource and historical reference.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've long been fascinated by the history of New England and the lore of old cemeteries. One of the best ways to learn about the history of a region is to visit these ancient graveyards. "Stones & Bones of New England" takes the reader on a wonderful tour of dozens of cemeteries located in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Each section has a state map showing the general location of the cemetery. More importantly, each cemetery that author Lisa Rogak covers comes with an address (or at least an exact location), phone number if applicable, and hours of operation. I've read a number of books on old cemeteries and this information is often not included.

Throughout this tour you'll visit cemeteries that are the final resting place of many famous Americans, some infamous Americans, along with suspected witches, not too mention than many of the sites are haunted.

In Connecticut, the Mountain Grove Cemetery is where you'll find the great showman P.T. Barnum buried. But even his 25' tall monument isn't the largest...that honor goes to one of Barnum's most famous attractions, the two foot tall Tomb Thumb who has a 40' obelisk. The Bara Hack Cemetery is not only a haunted cemetery, but is also located in a genuine, deserted ghost town.

Maine features the Brooklin Cemetery where children's author E.B. White is buried. The Old Burying Ground in York features the frequently visited gravef Mary Nasson, suspected of being a witch. A large stone slab covers the ground where she is buried, supposedly to prevent her escape.

As one might suspect, Massachusetts has some of the nation's oldest cemeteries and gravestones.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book had promise, but it never lived up to it. It probably gives a comprehensive review of the cemeteries available for viewing and hints on where to park, but the actual cemetery information is scarce. Sometimes it will talk about a special monument and there is no picture. It left me wanting more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bluestalking Reader VINE VOICE on August 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love cemeteries, the older the better, so I was already pretty much the ideal reader for 'Stones and Bones' from the get go. During my recent vacation to New England I spotted Rogak's book, in one of the approximate 20 or so gift shops my children dragged me into, and as soon as I saw the cover I knew I was hooked. I practically hurled my money at the cash register, as excited as I was to get my hands on this book.

I read the book everytime I had downtime over my trip. It proved to be a good book to dip in and out of. The short chapters are conducive to that. The content was definitely of interest to me, and there were some great, interesting tidbits as well as good local lore. For me, someone who's been to New England only once before, and never before to its cemeteries, it was interesting to read. I definitely wanted more concrete information, but I whiled away my quiet time very nicely with this book. The author's intent wasn't to be comprehensive, but rather to whet the appetite and provide a little guidance on the subject. I'd like to graduate to a more detailed book from here, but I thought 'Stones and Bones' served its purpose quite well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Betsy on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was excited about this book, and, being a Vermont resident, immediately flipped to the Vermont section. I'm a bit of a taphophile, and am quite familiar with a number of the Vermont cemeteries detailed. Unfortunately, not only were many of the descriptions lacking interesting details, but they were often inaccurate. I should have known better than to buy this book anyway - when I got it home and finally took a look at the back, I read that the author "tells the tales of nearly one hundred of the most intriguing burial grounds in all seven New England states." For those keeping count, New England consists of six states, not seven. I'm fairly certain that the author either never personally visited many of these cemeteries, or did so in such haste that she missed entire large monuments and sections (who that has visited the Green Mount Cemetery in Montpelier, Vermont, has not noticed the famous Hubbard monument known locally as "Black Agnes"? It is by far the most famous monument in the cemetery, and has some interesting history and folklore behind it, which the author might have uncovered had she bothered to do some research). I'm ranting now - the point is, there are much better books out there. Don't bother with this one.
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