New book and tours about the historic St. Agnes Cemetery

St Agnes These Sacred Grounds coverThis is the 150th anniversary of that historical "rural" cemetery in Menands.

No, not that one. The other one: St. Agnes Cemetery. And oo mark the anniversary, there's a new book and tours this fall.

First, the book -- These Sacred Grounds: 150 Years of St. Agnes Cemetery -- by the cemetery's historian, Kelly Grimaldi. Blurbage:

In the Victorian era, lot owners of all socio-economic means took great pride in creating sacred grave spaces. Over the years, burial practices have changed and the landscape of St. Agnes Cemetery reflects those changes in its funerary art and architecture that fill its 114 acres. Large, ornate family grave lots with neo-classically designed mausoleums and memorials gave way to smaller lots with respectable monuments more uniform in size and bronze markers in shrine sections. Additionally two beautiful Community mausoleums bathe thousands of individual crypts and cremation niches in natural light while protecting the remains of those entombed or inurned within the polished marble walls.
The wealthiest citizens gave us much to admire with their stately burial lots but the ordinary citizens and the poor played an important part in the shaping of history and their modest graves tell their own story. Sometimes these stories are sad stories of high infant mortality; tragic workplace accidents; ravaging infectious diseases; and some are stories of triumph, inspiration, perseverance and success. Today each memorial provides us with a lesson in art and in history that we explore within the book.

Starting next week, Grimaldi will be offering tours of the cemetery through the fall. They're free, but there's also a catered lunch-on-the-hill option for $20. See that link for details about how to reserve a tour.

Albany Rural Cemetery
Of course, the Albany Rural Cemetery is right next to St. Agnes in Menands. You could definitely stop by both in an afternoon. They're beautiful spots to walk in the autumn.


Kelli does terrific work at St. Agnes!

I've actually put forward a proposal to their old neighbor, Albany Rural, in the hopes the same sort of tours and improvements can be implemented there, too.

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