"If you are walking in Charleston, you are walking on someone's grave."--Sue Bennett, Charleston tour guide

Monday, November 27, 2017

Richard Hutson: Charleston's First Mayor

To read about Charleston's first mayor, CLICK HERE!!!

Jennings Waring: Died too Young!

Click here to view my Old Charlestonian Project

The Luck of Queenie Bennett Finally Ran Out

Check out my post of Lieutenant George E. Dixon and the legendary lucky gold coin.

The Luck of Queenie Bennett Finally Ran Out

Robert James Turnbull:The Charlestonian Nullifier

Click Here to read about one of Charleston's famous lawyer and politition.

"Old Charlestonian"

Check out my latest Blogspot all about Langdon Cheves! Click Here!

Robert Rhetts

I chose to do my presentation on Robert Rhetts. Click here to find out more!

The Enigmatic Death of George Witte

Come visit my blog post to find out about the mysterious death of George William Witte!

Embedding Kizoa Slideshows

I am asking my students to write a blog post to set up the end of year slideshow they will prepare using Kizoa (or a similar platform).

A really good Kizoa tutorial is available here. Kizoa makes it pretty easy to embed projects on to blogs.  This is a production I created from photographs taken at some of the Charleston-area beaches last summer.

The Beach 2017

In Kizoa's "My Movies" part, go to "Add to Blog" link at the bottom of the screen. When the screen appears, click in the circle by "Old code for Ebay, Joomie, etc.."  then copy the code.

Next go to your blog, and start a new post. After writing some to set up what the slideshow is and what it's about, go from "Compose" to "HTML" at the top left of the blog writing template. In HTML, paste the Kizoa code to embed the slideshow. Then switch base to "Compose" to finish writing.

Accidental Death of an Old Corps Cadet: Old Charlestonian Research

Click here to hear about the interesting story of this former cadet's story!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Prezi: "Victorian Splendor/Victorian Tragedy"

This Prezi looks at why so many of Charleston's old graveyards and cemeteries are filled with so many youngsters! Why did so many die so young?

Click here if you have trouble viewing this Prezi.

Prezi: Researching Old Charlestonians

In this Prezi are suggestions and examples of resources and the finds they can reveal when researching "Old Charlestonians" and other people who died long ago.

Click here if you have trouble playing the Prezi.

Monday, November 13, 2017

"We don't die, we just go to sleep."

To read more about Professor George Dickinson, click here.


Come check out my blog on Dr. George Dickinson's lecture with our class!

The Fascinating Truth About The American Way of Death

click here to read my blog post on the fascinating Dr. George E. Dickinson

My way or the highway.

"Click Here" if you understand there is more than one correct way to get a job done. If you don't then click the link to better understand how you shouldn't be closed minded with the help of Mr. Dickinson

Mr. Dickinson Know's His Stuff!!

Wanna know what stuff Mr. Dickinson knows? Click here to find out!

George E. Dickinson's Death in America

Last class, we had the privilege of having George E. Dickinson as our guest speaker, click here to find out more!

U.S. Continues Cremation Trend

For the first time, more Americans are choosing to cremate their loved ones, rather than bury them.

In 2016, the U.S. cremation rate climbed to 50.5 percent, exceeding ground burials for the first time.  Japan, Napal and Thailand continue to the lead world with cremation rates that exceed 95 percent. Japan's rate was 99.97 percent in 2014.

Dickinson has taught at CofC for more than 30 years
College of Charleston sociology professor and "death, dying and bereavement" expert Dr. George Dickinson disclosed America's new cremation figure while speaking on Nov. 6 to Patrick Harwood's CofC class, "Beyond the Grave: What Old Cemeteries Tell and Teach the Living."

A big reason for the shift, he said, is the cost comparison. "With earth burials, the average cost is $10,000," Dickinson said. "Six thousand for the funeral home and casket, those are the most expensive parts, then embalming, the hearse (to carry the person to the cemetery), the cemetery plot and burial costs too."

In addition, many cemeteries require the casket be placed in a vault, so that's another big expense, Dickinson said.

By comparison, cremations costs are in the $1,000 to $2,000 range, he said.

The all-time-high cremation figure was reported in July by the National Funeral Directors Association.

This Wikipedia entry includes a table showing 2014 U.S. state-by-state cremation figures. Nevada tops the list with a cremation rate of 75.9 percent. Mississippi has America's lowest figure at 19.7 percent. At 38.1 percent, South Carolina came in at 38th on the list (which includes the District of Columbia). Western states have the highest cremation rates (more than 70 percent) while Southern states report the lowest rates (fewer than 30 percent).

The Cremation Association of North America predicts that by 2020, America's cremation rate will be 54.3 percent.

Dickinson called his talk to the students "The American Way of Death." He spoke of how Americans  tend to avoid death conversations and often use euphemisms instead of saying someone died. "Passed away, went to asleep," are a couple examples he shared.

"The all-American way to die is in your sleep," Dickinson said, "in your bed, in your home, having had a good day before."

But today's reality is that such as ideal way to "pass" doesn't happen for most Americans. "Eighty percent now die in an institutional setting, away from the familiar arena of home," he said. The two major causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease followed by cancer, he said, adding, "But both have dropped significantly in the last 15 years."

Dickinson told his young audience that there could even be cures to heart disease and cancer by the time they become senior citizens. "The longer we can wait, more breakthroughs are coming," he said.

Click here to see a previous post on this blog about Dr. George Dickinson and his views on life, death, and end of life issues.  He is the co-author of "Understanding Death, Dying and Bereavement," a book regarded as a seminal study of these issues.

Dr. George Dickinson can be contacted at the College of Charleston by phone at 843.953.8186 or email at dickinsong@cofc.edu.

Prezi Next Presentation: Cemetery Symbology at Magnolia Cemetery

Victorian-era gravesites are rich in iconography- symbols, motifs and other meaningful touches and flourishes.

This Prezi Next presentation showcases some of the examples of such symbolism at Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston's premier Victorian necropolis.

The Prezi can also be viewed by clicking here.

For instructions on how to embed a Prezi into a blog post as I did here, go to this site.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Charleston's Confederacy Legacy (Prezi)

Charleston's connections with the American Civil War, from 1861-1865, are many.  This Prezi looks at the city's many "contributions" to the bloody and divisive conflict.  Click below or here to view this presentation.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Magnolia Cemetery

Here's my newest blog post about our recent adventure to Magnolia Cemetery. Check it out here!!!

Magnolia Cemetery Trip

Check out my blog post about my trip to Magnolia Cemetery here!

Magnolia Cemetery: Exploring Again!

Check out my new blog post about Magnolia Cemetery here!

South Carolina's Artistic Cemetery

Please go to visit my new blog post on Magnolia Cemetery. I hope you enjoy.

South Carolina's Artistic Cemetery

Memories of Magnolia

Read more about my experience at Magnolia Cemetery HERE.

Magnificent Magnolia

Come check out my blog about the Magnificent Magnolia Cemetery!

Adventures at Magnolia Cemetery

click here  to read about how last weeks visit to the Magnolia Cemetery went.

Magnolia Adventures

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Magnolia Cemetery, Click here to hear more!

Beauty for two is available now!

Click here to read up on the beauty of Magnolia.

A Day at Magnolia Cemetery

Click here to read more about my experience and impressions of Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.

Magnolia Cemetery: I've been dying to go

Click here to check out my latest blog post about Magnolia Cemetery and my favorite monuments!

“Old Charlestonian” Research Project/Blog Post
“Beyond the Grave” FYE Course
Fall 2017
Due Date: Monday, Nov. 20
First Scots Presbyterian Church Graveyard

“Old Charlestonian” Project Guidelines
Due Nov. 13:  Write and turn in a typed proposal on the Charlestonian you will research and write about for your blog and class blog: who is this person, why this person, when did he/she live and where is he/she buried (needs to be in a Charleston graveyard or cemetery). 

In this proposal you do not have to answer all of these questions yet, but in your research try to find out when did he/she live and die (and how).  Include other details you know so far about life, occupation, family, achievements (and failures), legacy and any other interesting facts and tidbits. 

Describe the gravesite. What is unique, interesting or magnificent or artistic about it? Also, include research sources you have and will use to write a detailed article. Style and length should be similar to the stories I have in “In the Arms of Angels.”

Important Note: Your “Old Charlestonian” research project and post must be from a gravesite found at one of the graveyards/cemeteries we have visited this semester. It can also be from one in Charleston you visit on your own. See a list of six nearby graveyards on the syllabus. Subject must have lived and died in the 18th or 19th centuries. Subject can be a child or young person.

Due Nov. 20:  A 500-plus word story with two or more photos/visuals and two/more embedded links. You should use and site three or more sources and resources used to gather and write this post. Hit on the themes mentioned above, including why you selected this person/gravesite to feature. Attribute sources as newspaper and online writers or reporters would. Examples:
       “In a collection of her writings, Vanderhorst described in great detail the dangers and difficulties of living in Charleston during the Union bombardment from 1863-65.”
                       “A Tiffany monument, just like Magnolia Cemetery’s Witte one, can be found in Chicago’s Forest Home Cemetery. The monument marks the grave of Edmund Cummings, a real estate and street mogul who lived from the 1840s to 1920s.”  

Presentations: Each of you will come to the front of the class, bring up your Old Charlestonian, and briefly discuss who your person is, why you chose this person, what was interesting/unique/unusual about your person’s life and death (possibly), how you researched this person, and also discuss the grave site of the person.


The Place That Took My Breath Away: Magnolia Cemetery

Click Here to see the eerie yet breathtaking experience I had at Magnolia Cemetery last week!!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Unearth the Holy City: A Trip to Magnolia Cemetery

If you dare, go ahead and read my views on the magnificent place that is Magnolia Cemetery! Filled with beautiful photographs and descriptions of three immaculate grave markers and ponds. Click here... 

Garden of the Dead: Magnolia Cemetery

To hear my thoughts on the great Magnolia Cemetery, click here!

Cemetery Symbols and Iconography (Image Writing)

Old cemeteries and graveyards, especially those from the 19th century Victorian era, are rich in symbolism. From crosses and angels to plants and animals, each has a special meaning. Though some symbols are up to interpretation, there seems to be a general consensus on most messages. The term "iconology" refers to the study, description, analysis and interpretation of icons.

There are many resources online and in books to help interpret grave site symbols, including this in-depth one that lists symbols alphabetically.  My "In the Arms of Angels" book's chapter 5 "Cemetery Symbology" samples symbols found at Magnolia Cemetery.  And our "Stories Told in Stone" text includes a "Glossary of Common Gravestone Symbols & Interpretations" chapter (pages 71-82).

Listing in Sharon Carmack's "Your Guide To Cemetery Research" 

This Prezi includes an extensive online piece on such symbols and their meanings.

This Prezi can also be viewed by clicking here.