A Visit to Laurel Hill Cemetery

Recently, my husband Jeff came across a brochure for “Laurel Hill Cemetery” mixed in with some recent mail. I happened to be standing nearby at the time, so I noticed when his jaw dropped open and asked him what was up.

“When I first saw this,” he said, pointing to the brochure, “I thought it said Lauryn Hill Cemetery.”

I chuckled and said, “That’s funny.”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I was about to suggest that she find herself a new publicist.”

In fact, Laurel Hill Cemetery is one of the few cemeteries in the nation designated a “National Historic Landmark.” Its 78 acres are filled with lush grass, rolling hills, and some truly breathtaking memorials to the city’s departed.

This is perhaps one of the simplest — but most famous — headstones in the whole cemetery. No one is actually buried here; this grave was built as a prop for the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa. After the film ceased production, however, the tomb remained intact. Legend has it that one of the locals is convinced that an Adrian Balboa truly existed who was born and died on these dates. (Perhaps that’s the one who left a red rose at her headstone.)

As far as angel sculptures go, this one is simply marvelous.

“Put your hands in the ay-ir, if you’s a true play-er.”

“Why, I’m a true player.”

This memorial (like so many in Laurel Hill) is truly work of art. No wonder the cemetery has gotten the nickname “Philadelphia’s Underground Museum.”

Piles of branches and twigs were scattered about throughout the cemetery; a reminder that Hurricane Irene passed through these parts only a few days ago.



They’re taking a dirt nap.




“Five to one baby, one in five. No one here gets out alive.”

Seriously, though, people: let’s focus on some more positive things . . . like angels.

Perhaps death isn’t so bad, after all. (Take it from this guy.)

Omega. The end. Adieu.

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2 comments

  1. ilona

    Beautiful pictures and only you could get away with putting humorous quotes beneath grave pictures. Speaking of life, death and all, I came across this cool conversation between 2 people on the FB world that got me thinking, check it out:

    Person A: I guess now’s as good a time as any to let everybody know I made it home mostly alive.

    Person B: a better time than most, since most of time is before you’re born or after you die.

    It was just an interesting thought, our time here is very short when you think of it that way!

  2. Gina Marie

    Our time here is short, indeed. That’s why we need to listen to the Latin folks in all their infinite wisdom: “Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.”

    (Why yes, I speak Latin.)

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