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Stories in Stone: A Walk in Highland Cemetery   

OFFSITE TOUR: 943 North River Street, Ypsilanti
Enrollment: This tour is limited to 15 attendees. A waitlist will be available.

No single site in a community tells its story with more drama than the cemetery. It is the one place where we can trace our roots in what is becoming a rootless society. The rich and famous lie side by side with the poor and not so famous. There are pioneers and latecomers, scoundrels and saints, infants and centenarians, and each gravestone has a story to tell. Highland Cemetery, designed in the “rural tradition” by landscape architect, James Niles, is a jewel of the Ypsilanti community. As we follow the meandering pathways, read the epitaphs, and compare the many memorial styles, the history of the community will come alive. The centerpiece of the cemetery is Starkweather Chapel. A restoration is currently underway which will preserve its exquisite Tiffany windows. Rochelle Balkam taught history and government at Ypsilanti High School for 36 years, and taught Michigan history at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) for 27 years. She holds an M.A. degree in history and an M.S. in historic preservation from EMU. Rochelle serves on the board of the Michigan One-Room Schoolhouse Association, and formerly served on the board of the Historical Society of Michigan and the Ann Arbor Historic Commission. Driving and parking information will be sent to class registrants a few days before the tour.



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