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Sunday, January 12, 2020

Visiting Old Cemeteries to Learn About American History

Do you enjoy learning about American history? Visiting old cemeteries is a great way to learn about our country's past, pay respect to those we've loved and lost, and to honor our heroes. We try to visit a new cemetery in our state once a month and its always a great learning experience.

A lot of times before you enter an old cemetery you can find a historical marker or information plaque near the property or at the front entrance gate. When they're present they're full of historical information that helps us to learn about our past. If the cemetery doesn't have one...try looking them on the internet to see if their webpage has a history section. Many of them do!
Middletown Cemetery in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

A few months ago we visited the Middletown Cemetery located in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. It's located on North Spring Street which was built before the Civil War. That's right, they've been serving the local community for over 150 years. You'll find many Civil War servicemen buried there, along with beloved community members.

When visiting a cemetery its important to always be respectful. You want to walk on the designated walkways and remain quiet when visiting. If a funeral service is going on...I recommend visiting another area in the cemetery or come back at another time. If there are employees on the grounds, don't be afraid to ask them for some history. Many of them will talk with you!!!
Middletown Cemetery in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

We like to walk through them and check out the graves sites, memorial plaques, statues, fountains, historical markers, etc. We often take inexpensive flowers along with us that we pick up at a local grocery store and place them on some of the older graves that we find, especially when we find the graves of servicemen and women. It's always important to pay your respects to them. Some places will allow you to place small American Flags on those graves too!

Take a small tablet and a camera along with you. Take photographs of the things that you find interesting, so that you can look them up online. There is a lot of history that you can find by visiting an old cemetery, documenting what you see, and then doing a little bit of research via the internet. We find these visits to be an educational learning experience and they can be quite humbling too!.

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