Tim Freund of Lancaster Cemetery in Lancaster, PA, joined the Practical Preservation Podcast to discuss the history, preservation, and ongoing use of the cemetery. We covered multiple topics, including:
- How Tim’s living in close proximity to the cemetery coupled with his civic-mindedness inspired his current membership on the cemetery board
- The challenges of maintaining any cemetery – particularly historic ones with fewer families remaining to care for family plots – including limited funding and intensive landscape and monument preservation needs
- The history of the cemetery, similar to other Victorian-era cemeteries, and its origins as a church’s burial site for a dead congregant population that exceeded the capacity of the original churchyard
- Famous and notable occupants of the cemetery, including native Lancastrian Major General John F. Reynolds who was killed on the first day at the Battle of Gettysburg, and Augusta Bitner of “walking statue” notoriety
- Conservation and preservation efforts, including regular consultation with expert conservators, as well as cemetery conservation workshops
- The cemetery’s mission to be a “proactive gathering space” hosting unique events open to the public that help support the cemetery but also educate and maintain respect for this and similar spaces
Tim encourages people interested in visiting or supporting Lancaster Cemetery – or any cemetery – to consider volunteering or donating funding (here), or to visit (hours, rules, and directions can be found here). Most events are postponed this year due to COVID, but you can follow their Facebook events page to stay up-to-date on events that help support the cemetery in the future.
Anticipated events and ongoing services include a wreathe sale, conservation workshops, and genealogical research services – contact Tim to learn more!