Events Calendar

Engraved: Meanings Behind 19th Century Tombstone Carvings

The Historical Society of Montgomery County will be offering a special combination event on Saturday, July 22, 2017 that examines the almost-lost language of symbols of grief and remembrance carved into Victorian tombstones.

The event will feature a walking tour of Historic Montgomery Cemetery that begins at 10:00 am with stops that highlight the art found on Victorian era stones. This walking tour will be followed by light refreshments inside the Cemetery’s gatehouse with a presentation from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm. 

Engraved: Meanings Behind 19th Century Tombstone Carvings is about the almost-lost language of symbols of grief and remembrance carved into Victorian tombstones. These symbols, which are a mystery to many people today, would have spoken volumes to the people in the 1800s who visited loved ones regularly in cemeteries and graveyards. The carvings also served as art and outdoor sculpture gardens in many cities and towns across America. The waxing and waning popularity of symbols across a century denote cultural, architectural and historical changes in the country. The symbols on the stones tell a story, if we’d only take the time to read them!

Tammy E. Schane is a public historian and development specialist who has worked for and volunteered with non-profits for 10 years.  She currently works for Heritage Conservancy, a land trust located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania that also furthers the cause of historic preservation. She serves as the Membership and Outreach Activities Coordinator and also is the lead docent at the Conservancy’s headquarters, historic Aldie Mansion.  She also volunteers as a tour guide at Doylestown Cemetery and has researched and written a tour about the site’s 19th-century tombstone symbols and their meanings. She lectures on her research of 18th- and 19th-century cemeteries to historical societies and other groups, and in 2016, she published a book called, Engraved: The Meanings Behind 19th-Century Tombstone Symbols.

With almost 6000 known burials, Historic Montgomery Cemetery holds the remains of some of the most prominent citizens, veterans and reformers in the county and nation. From five Civil War generals to many captains of industry, it tells the story of the nation through the lives it represents. The entrance to Montgomery Cemetery is at the end of Hartranft Avenue, off of West Main Street, Norristown. Parking during the event will be made available inside the Cemetery gates.

Please call 610-272-0297 to reserve a spot for this event.