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PUBLIC TOURS

The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery offer general and special-theme guided walking tours throughout the year. Regular Sunday tours begin in May and continue through October. Special Winter and Spring tours are offered per the schedule below.

NOTE:  Nearly all Friends' tours and activities are free to members. Visit the Membership page and join today!

TOUR GUIDELINES:
Please note that Mount Hope Cemetery is a natural terrain, and tours are not always kept to paved paths. There is often walking in grass, dirt paths, and some hills, particularly in the north end. We recommend comfortable walking shoes -- not open sandals. If you have any questions or doubts about the particular tour you'd like to take, please call ahead for more details. General and Theme Tours typically take 90 minutes. Twilight Tours are approximately 75 minutes long.

FOMH TOUR LINE:  (585) 461-3494
          ONLINE CALENDAR OF EVENTS


2019 WINTER/SPRING PUBLIC TOURS 
Enjoy a 60 to 90-minute guided walking tour on flat, paved roads.

Carver Monument in winterEach tour meets: South Cemetery Entrance, 1133 Mount Hope Avenue, opposite the Distillery Restaurant.
Admission: $5 per person. Free to members of the Friends of Mount Hope and children under age 16 (accompanied by an adult.) Please note: Payment by cash or check only for tours that begin at the south entrance

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 11:00 AM
Tour Guide: Joanne Mitchell

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 11:00 AM
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr

SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 11:00 AM
Tour Guide: Barry Platt

SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 11:00 AM
Tour Guide: Chris Grooms


Hartwell Carver memorial, Mount Hope's
second highest monument


2019 GENERAL TOURS        $10 per person -- FREE for Members

These tours are free to SNAP recipients, and to children under age 16 when accompanied by a paying adult.

Tour fees and memberships directly fund the restoration and preservation projects of the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery -- Thank you!


gatehouse at north entrancePublic Tours -- North Section
Sundays at 2:00 PM
April 28 through October 27
Meet: North Gatehouse, opposite Robinson Drive


Twilight Tours
Thursdays at 7:00 PM
May 9 through August 8
Meet: North Gatehouse, opposite Robinson Drive
These 75-minute tours include some topics covered on Sunday North Section tours as well as new material, on an alternative route in the North Section.

Holiday Tours
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.                  
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr   
       
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Saturday, May 25 at 11:00 AM

INDEPENDENCE DAY
Thursday, July 4 at 7:00 PM

LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Sunday, September 1 at 2:00 PM


2019 THEME TOURS             $10 per person -- FREE for Members

bat ball and gloveBATTER UP!  ROCHESTER'S BASEBALL PIONEERS
Saturday, May 4 at 11:00 AM  

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Drive                                                        
Tour Guides: Tony Brancato  &  Richard Astifan   
                                                      
The unique history of baseball in Rochester, as told through the lives of early Rochesterians who played the game.

DISCOVER RIVERSIDE CEMETERY:  125 YEARS OF HISTORY
Sunday, May 5 at  1:00 PM
Meet:  Entrance to Riverside Cemetery,  2650 Lake Avenue
Tour Guides:  Cynthia Howk  and Joanne Mitchell

This tour will introduce visitors to  Riverside Cemetery, founded in 1892 to serve the growing population in the northern part of the city.  We will explore the western half of this 123-acre site that borders the  Genesee River and provides a permanent resting place to 75,000 Rochesterians.

A NATION OF JOINERS: RITUAL, REGALIA AND THE HISTORY OF FRATERNALISM IN AMERICA
Saturday, May 11 at 11:00 AM
Meet: South Entrance, across from The Distillery restaurant
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr   
                                                       
From the early nineteenth through the twentieth century the symbols and emblems of secret societies and benefit organizations appear on monuments in Mount Hope Cemetery. By 1920, half of all Americans belonged to at least one of these fraternal groups. Beginning with the Masonic Lodge we'll explore some of the hundreds of organizations that became important in the lives of Mount Hope's permanent residents. 

TREE WALK -- MOUNT HOPE FENCE LINE
Saturday, May 18 at 11:00 AM
Meet: South Entrance, across from The Distillery restaurant                                                       
Tour Guide:  Tom Jones

Take a walk with our own tree lover Tom Jones looking for signs of Spring -- the fresh burst of leaf and flower buds. Observe the buds  from the showy  horse-chestnut and magnolia trees as well as less conspicuous trees like maple and hickory. 

THE BIRD WATCHER TOUR
Sunday, May 19 at 8:00 AM                                      
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Drive                  
Tour Guide: Audubon Society and Joanne Mitchell   
                                                       
The early bird catches the worm - Yes, 8 am! Join Genesee Valley Audubon Society members as they seek out migratory birds.

MEMORIAL DAY
Saturday, May 25 at 11:00 AM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Drive                 
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr          

From the Revolution to today, a remembrance of those who gave their last full measure.

LANDSCAPE HISTORY & THE HORTICULTURAL HERITAGE OF MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY
Saturday, June 1 at 11:00 AM 
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Drive
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr          

From the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 through the 20th century, Rochester was a center for horticulture and the nursery business. Mount Hope Cemetery is the permanent resting place of the innovators that made Rochester the Flower City, and the cemetery is Rochester's most important romantic landscape.


ERIE CANAL I:  BASINS AND BUILDERS
Saturday, June 8 at 11:00 AM       
                                
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Drive
Tour Guide: Nancy Uffindell         
                                                 
The Erie Canal made Rochester a boom town, and had national impact. Meet famous and less-famous people and explore their connections to this legendary waterway.

Susan B Anthony portraitTHE QUEST FOR WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE AND EQUALITY
Saturday, June 15 at 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse, across from Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Sally Millick

Follow the steps of Susan B. Anthony that led to our 19th Amendment and meet many other trailblazing women along the way.  


JEWISH ROOTS IN ROCHESTER

Sunday, June 16 at 11:00 AM              
                         
Meet: South Entrance, opposite the Distillery Rest.
Tour Guides: Nancy Kraus, Earl Gurell, Dennis Carr 

Explore the history and enormous contributions of Rochester's Jewish community. This tour will visit the site of a large FOMH project to restore the first Jewish burial site at Mount Hope.

HOME TO THE PROSPEROUS AND PENNILESS
Saturday, June 22 at 11:00 AM

Meet: South Entrance, opposite the Distillery restaurant
Tour Guide: Cam Tran 
                                                         
Stroll the paved, flat-surfaced Grove Avenue. Learn about residents of great wealth and status, and those who had little in life, but left a mark nonetheless.       
                                             
ERIE CANAL II: BOATYARDS AND BUSINESSMEN
Saturday, June 29 at 11:00 AM  
                                     
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Nancy Uffindell         
                                                 
This tour is Part II of the Erie Canal story.  Part 1 is June 9th. Hear fascinating stories about the impact of the Erie Canal on life in Rochester!

Civil War Monument xoldier's faceCIVIL WAR STORIES -- THE TRAGEDY OF WAR
Saturday, July 6 at 11:00 AM

Meet:  North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guides:  FOMH Ensemble

This tour explores the life-altering changes in the lives of Rochesterians resulting from the Civil War.


FREE AT LAST

Saturday, July 13 at 11:00 AM
Meet: South Entrance, opposite the Distillery restaurant
Tour Guides: Verdis L. Robinson and Marilyn Nolte, co-authors of Beyond These Gates: Mountains of Hope in Rochester's African-American History

The lives of Black Rochesterians, many recently discovered in Mount Hope, who influenced Rochester history.

ABOLITIONISTS AND THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
Saturday, July 20 at 11:00 AM

Meet: South Entrance, across from Distillery Rest.
Tour Guide: Sally Millick

Frederick Douglass and many other Rochester citizens kept the Freedom Seekers moving northward through their secret network.   

SEEKING THE CURE: THE MEDICAL HERITAGE OF MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY
Saturday, July 27, 11 am          
                              
Meet: South Entrance, across from Distillery Rest.
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr  
                                                        
From the early 19th century to the present, Rochester has been on the leading edge of health care, and Mt. Hope is the final home of many of these innovators and national leaders in medicine and public health.

CRYPTS, VAULTS, AND TEMPLES
Saturday, August 3 at 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse, across from Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Chris Grooms

Explore the various architectural styles of the mausoleums in the North section of the cemetery and learn the stories of those entombed within. Many of the mausoleums showcased on this new tour are not often featured on the general tours.

FREE AT LAST
Saturday, August 10 at 11:00 AM

Meet: South Entrance, opposite the Distillery Rest.
Tour Guides: Verdis L. Robinson and Marilyn Nolte

Repeat presentation of this popular tour (July 13) 

UNDERTAKERS, WAKES, & TEARS: MOURNING RITUALS IN 19TH CENTURY AMERICA
Saturday, August 17 at 11:00 AM  

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Deb Coffey

This new tour explores the Victorians' view of death and their expressions of grief through socially expected rituals and customs.  The tour includes: the "Good Death," wakes & funerals, mourning etiquette & clothing, gravestone symbolism, epitaphs.

Towpath fife and drum corpsTHE REVOLUTIONARY WAR
Saturday, August 24, 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guides: Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution, and Dennis Carr

The American Revolution told through the lives of veterans within Mt. Hope, featuring music provided by members of the Towpath Fife and Drum Corps!                

ZINC MONUMENT TOUR
Saturday, August 31 at 11:00 AM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Tony Filer

Zinc "white bronze" grave markers hit their peak popularity around 1890 and were phased out by 1915. They played a vital role in the evolution of grave markers. Come explore Mt. Hope's collection.
                                      
LABOR DAY AT MOUNT HOPE
Sunday, September 1 at 2:00 PM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr

A commemoration of the people and organizations that built Rochester and its economic base, and ensured a fair deal for the average citizen.

ROCHESTER'S GUILDED AGE
Saturday, September 7 at 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse, across from Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Sally Millick

East Avenue was the home of many wealthy and notable residents, who now reside at Mt. Hope. Hear their stories, and about their grand mansions: some standing, some lost.

Special All-Day Event!
THE GEOGRAPHY OF MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY
Saturday, September 14, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: MCC Professor Michael Boester

Mt. Hope Cemetery is an evolving cultural landscape. This extensive tour will explore the physical and cultural geography of the cemetery, explaining its evolution from America's first municipally-owned Victorian cemetery, to fulfilling today's trends in natural burials and cremations.
Admission: $40 for all-day tour. $30 for members.
Registration is required. Call 585.461.3494 to register – Space is limited.
Half-hour break for lunch – bring your own, or order on day of the tour (cash only).

Lewis Henry Morgan PortraitLEWIS HENRY MORGAN AND THE PUNDIT CLUB
Saturday, September 21 at 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guides:  FOMH tour guides

In mid-nineteenth century Rochester, economic growth and development spurred professional men to seek self-cultivation through literary fraternities and clubs. Lewis Henry Morgan, the father of cultural anthropology, was a prominent member of the "pundit club."  You will meet many of these club members in this tour and learn about their interesting intellectual legacy,

GEOLOGY OF MOUNT HOPE CEMETERY
Saturday, September 28 at 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: U of R Scientist  Rory Cottrell

A geologist leads this fascinating tour revealing the hidden Earth history in the dramatic glacial landscape of Mount Hope.

ROADS LESS TRAVELED BY
Saturday, October 5 at 11:00 AM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Joanne Mitchell

Meet 19th century Rochesterians – pivotal leaders, entrepreneurs and heroes – in sections not often visited on other Mount Hope tours.

torch light tour logoOur Popular Annual After-Dark Tours!
GRAND TORCH LIGHT TOURS
Saturday, Oct. 5 & Tuesday, Oct. 8

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
NO PARKING IN CEMETERY – Park on Robinson Drive or on neighborhood streets
Guides will take you to unique stops and share stories from Rochester's history, by moonlight and torchlight.
Groups go out every 15 minutes, 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Ticket prices $15 in advance, $20 at door
 

ARCHITECTURE & ARCHITECTS: HISTORY IN PLAIN SIGHT

Saturday, October 12 at 11:00 AM

Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr  

This tour of Mount Hope Cemetery is a walk through the past 200 years of our region's architectural history. You will leave with a new appreciation for the buildings you see throughout your own community!

RIVERSIDE RAMBLE: MORE HISTORY, SCENERY, & STORIES
Sunday, October 13 at 1:00 PM

Meet: Entrance to Riverside Cemetery,  2650 Lake Ave, Rochester, NY 14612
Tour Guides:  Cynthia Howk and Joanne Mitchell

This tour continues our exploration of the city's historic Riverside Cemetery, established in 1892 overlooking the Genesee River gorge. We'll visit the eastern half of the cemetery and discover its social, cultural and landscape history amidst an autumnal setting.

MISCHIEF, MURDER AND MAYHEM
Saturday, October 19 at 11:00 AM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Dennis Carr  

Meet some permanent residents who bent, broke, or enforced the law, or whose lives met unfortunate or grisly ends.     
           
brilliant fall foliageFALL FOLIAGE AT MOUNT HOPE
Saturday, October 26 at 11:00 AM
Meet: North Gatehouse opposite Robinson Dr.
Tour Guide: Zak Steele/Ed Olinger

Experience Mount Hope Cemetery's changes as its foliage dons its beautiful fall overcoat.