The Ordinary, Extraordinary Cemetery

The Ordinary, Extraordinary Cemetery

The Ordinary, Extraordinary Cemetery is a podcast for cemetery lovers, preservers, and even those who've never walked among the graves. Join hosts Jennie and Dianne as they explore old cemeteries and learn the stories of those buried within their walls. After all, every death had a life, and every life had a story.

Episodes

June 23, 2022 32 min

In episode 87 Jennie and Dianne talked briefly about the Potter's Field that used to exist where a baseball field is now in Chicago's Lincoln Park. In this episode they delve deeper into the City Cemetery, why the city decided it should be dismantled and what happened to those who originally called Chicago's first city cemetery their final resting place. Join them for the Ordinary Extraordinary story of burial, disease,...

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Jennie and Dianne are joined by Jeffrey and Sarah, hosts of Salem the Podcast and two of Salem's best tour guides, to talk about the symbolism and other attributes of many of the cemeteries located in Salem, Massachusetts.  From the death's heads and full body skeletons on gravestones in the Charter Street cemetery to the willow trees, urns and Victorian status of Harmony Grove cemetery, they guide you through the cemeterie...

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 Most cemeteries, both old and modern, contain a section often referred to as a Potter's field. In this episode, Dianne and Jennie discuss the history of Potter's fields and gravesites. From Lincoln Park in Chicago, Illinois to Hart Island in New York City, New York to quiet graves throughout England and Ireland, Many of these fields and gravesites have been forgotten with time as well as the poor souls buried within them. ...

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In this episode Dianne and Jennie learn about one man's heartache and how it led him to build a magnificent mausoleum and gorgeous Victorian mansion. John Bowman built his wealth owning several tanneries and selling leather goods to the Union army during the civil war. However, his true happiness was the love he showered on his wife and daughters and when he lost them he he built the magnificent Laurel Glen Mausoleum and Laurel...

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May 26, 2022 45 min

Just in time for Memorial Day, Jennie and Dianne are joined by special guest Andrew Bell, a former Sergeant-Major in the US Army and a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and a former Buffalo Soldier reenactor. Andrew shares not only the history of the Buffalo Soldiers and who they were, but how their nearly forgotten story was brought back to life in the 1960s.  These fighting men represented the first Black professional s...

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Dianne and Jennie explore Chicago's Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery and learn about its inception due to Chicago's growing immigrant population at the turn of the 20th century. This cemetery is the final resting place for many who took vows of holy orders including several bishops, archbishops, and Cardinals. It is also the final resting place to some of the most notorious gangsters from the 1920s and 30s including Al Capone...

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Jennie and Dianne chat about cemeteries in the spring and summer time! This is the time of year when many cemeteries offer tours and other events and they suggest ways to get involved with your local cemetery. They also talk about some of the appropriate ways to help care for grave sites and who to talk to when you want to get involved in restoration projects or even just basic clean up. Join them for the Ordinary Extraordinary do&...

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Henry David Thoreau wrote, "You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” that is exactly what Dan Fischer, founder of the One Last Wave Project has done. Dan sits down with Dianne and Jennie to share how he turned his devastating heartache from the loss of his dad, dog, and other loved ones in the past two years to one of hope and help for others experiencing their own grief. ...

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Jennie and Dianne explore the Harvard Shaker "Lollipop" Cemetery located in Harvard, Massachusetts. The "lollipops" in the cemetery refer to the shape of more than 300 markers marking graves that date back to late 1700s belonging to members of 'The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing', more commonly known as the Shakers. They learn how the Shaker religion has been shaped and molded since...

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In this episode Jennie and Dianne learn about the April 25th tradition of ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand.  ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army corps. ANZAC Day is a day that was originally begun to honor those soldiers who served during the first world war and specifically those who were part of the allied forces that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These became known as Anzacs and the pride they to...

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What do a toothpick, a  scarf and a banana peel have in common? This might sound like the beginning to a bad joke, but in this episode Jennie and Dianne share the stories of three artists who died under unusual circumstances. You will be introduced to writer and poet Sherwood Anderson, the mother of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, and Roland Reed whose photography helped the world to better understand the indigenous peoples of the Am...

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Avast ye, hearties! Jennie and Dianne take to the high seas to visit the world's only known pirate cemetery hidden away on Ile  Sainte Marie, a thin strip of land off Madagascar’s northeast coast, where for more than a hundred years thousands of pirates called this place home when they weren't out plundering for booty. Then the ladies batten down the hatches and head back to America to the coast of North Carolina where they...

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In this episode Jennie and Dianne are joined by special guest Laurilea McDaniel to discuss three exceptional women who helped tame the wild west. All three were married to men whose names are well-known to history: Davy Crockett, Kit Carson and Horace Tabor; but we only hear the names of their wives in passing... until now.  As Dolly Parton once said, “Storms make trees take deeper roots.”  Elizabeth Patton Crockett, Maria Josefa J...

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Jennie and Dianne are joined by David Moffat, a Visitor Services Specialist & researcher at The House of the Seven Gables. David has done a lot of research into the life and work of Caroline Emmerton, the woman who saved the House of the Seven Gables by turning it into the museum we know today and using the funds from that museum to create a settlement house for thousands of immigrants who came to America in search of a new hom...

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March 17, 2022 28 min

Happy St. Patrick's Day! In this episode Dianne and Jennie explore the traditions and customs that have made Irish wakes world famous. Why must a dead body not be left unattended until the funeral? Why would Irish families hire professional mourners? And what in the world is a sin eater? Come along as we celebrate the Ordinary Extraordinary Irish in their customs of life and death. As the Irish say, "may you live as long as...

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Jennie and Dianne continue their discussion with Sharon Pajka, PhD about the 44 ordinary extraordinary women writers covered in her book 'Women Writers Buried in Virginia'. In this episode we are introduced to Ella Howard Bryan who wrote westerns under the nom de plume Clinton Dangerfield and formed a friendship with President Theodore Roosevelt. We also hear about Amélie Louise Rives Chanler Troubetzky a novelist who later...

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Jennie and Dianne welcome writer and professor of English Sharon Pajka, PhD back to the show to discuss her latest book, "Women Writers Buried in Virginia". What started out as a summer visit to the grave of acclaimed Gothic horror writer VC Andrews, soon became a trek across Virginia to visit the graves and share the stories of 44 Ordinary Extraordinary women writers whose final resting places are scattered throughout the ...

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Jennie and Dianne visit the gravesite of Bill Pickett a black man who was born just after the American Civil War. He spent his early life working as a ranch hand, but in his adult life he performed in wild west shows around the world! He wowed audiences with his steer wrestling skills and later became Hollywood's first black cowboy hero. This ordinary extraordinary man would be the first black cowboy to be inducted into the Rod...

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Jennie and Dianne visit the gravesites of two heros of the American west, Bose Ikard and Nat Love. Both men were born into slavery, but became cowboys after the end of the American Civil War. They faced the dangers of cattle drives and life on the frontier proving themselves to be the best of the best. They were both highly trusted and respected. Their Ordinary Extraordinary lives were full of adventure that has been often over loo...

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In this episode Jennie and Dianne visit the gravesites of three couples who were truly in love in life and are buried side by side in death. The first is a story of young love that had barely started when it was nearly lost during the American Civil War. Second, is the true love story that sank below the seas with the RMS Titanic. Finally, a wild west madam who had many lovers throughout her life, but only one true love. Join us fo...

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