Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Morbid Valentine’s Day

Laurel Hill Cemetery welcomed both living and dead lovers for a Valentines Day Event on Saturday, the event included a lengthy tour of the “lovers of Laurel Hill,” and concluded with a fireside reception.

Valentine’s Day at Laurel Hill Cemetery is celebrated with a tour called “‘Til Death Do Us Part.” From love lost aboard the Titanic to a heart with no body attached, Laurel Hill makes the morbid magical just in time for the Hallmark holiday. Laurel Hill Cemetery is known for its historic relevance in Philadelphia, and is home to famous characters from William Randolph Hearst to Harry Kalas. Among the cemetery’s annual events such as the Gravedigger’s Ball and the Rest in Peace 5k are tours uncovering the little known history of those who reside within Laurel Hill.

A crowd of about fifty people and three dogs gathered around graves by the main gate house at around 1pm for the start of the tour.
The tour was led by Gwen Kaminski, the director of development and programs at Laurel Hill Cemetery, and featured little known love stories not normally included in cemetery tours.
Laurel Hill is filled with Edgar Allen Poe’s most beloved friends and enemies, so a tour would not be complete without stopping at the Sully family plot. Thomas Sully was said to have had feelings for Poe’s mother and is rumored to have painted him a portrait of her.
From couples in their early twenties to married couples in their retirement, this tour drew out people of all ages to explore the cemetery’s history of love.
Mary and Richie of East Falls look on while tour guide Gwen Kaminsky makes an offer the crowd, “If anyone is looking for a final resting place, you know I have to make that sales pitch!”
Gwen Kaminsky leads the group to General Meade’s burial plot, still decorated from their birthday celebration for him. General Meade’s birthday is celebrated on December 31st, the same day as his wedding anniversary.
No tour of the lovers of Laurel Hill would be complete without a stop at the only prop in the cemetery, where Rocky and Adrian’s love lives on. Part of the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa was filmed in the cemetery and the granite gravestone was donated afterwards.
Laurel Hill Cemetery’s “‘Til Death do us Part,” tour happens annually and concludes with a fireside reception at the gate house. This tour is one of many that the cemetery runs throughout the calendar year.
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