Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery

Updated
1 Dec 2016

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Mother and Twins monument by Henry Dmochowski Saunders, 1857. In Laurel Hill Cemetery's south section, overlooking Philadelphia's Schuylkill River.

Built in 1836, Laurel Hill was one of the country's first rural cemeteries, built to provide recreation for the living as well as rest for the dead. In the 21st century, the cemetery attracts visitors to musical programs, tours, photography programs, and more. Prior to the construction of East River Drive (now Kelly Drive), many of Laurel Hill's visitors accessed the cemetery from the river, arriving by steamboat. A 2013 Center grant will support the restoration of this entrance and make the site accessible to the thousands of people using the Schuylkill River Trail daily for walking, jogging, and biking, for the first time in over a century.