skip navigation



Working with the Central Library, the Friends are pleased to announce that the Mourning in the Morning Series will be offered in 2020-21. Pre-registration is required for these ZOOM events. See below for instructions. 

stone cherub with praying hands"Carved in Stone: Exploring Cemetery Symbolism & Iconography"
Saturday, November 14
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Presented by Deb Coffey

Symbols are a part of our daily lives. We use, respond, and react to them without much thought. Consider all the traffic signals and symbols you encounter while driving your car, or the funny face emojis you include in emails and text messages. Symbols communicate with us subconsciously and can be a substitute for written words. 

A cemetery is a virtual encyclopedia of symbols. They are everywhere - on headstones, monuments, mausoleums, chapels, stained glass windows, and statuary. But why are they there? What do they mean? Are symbols meant to be interpreted literally, or is there a deeper meaning? What do they tell us about the deceased? 

We will explore the fascinating world of cemetery symbolism and iconography, highlighting the Victorian and 19th century symbolism found in Mount Hope and other area cemeteries, as well as take a glimpse at how modern-day cemetery symbols have evolved.
Deb Coffey portrait shotDeb Coffey is a historian, researcher, and cemetery enthusiast. She is a current trustee, tour guide, and volunteer coordinator with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York and is an aspiring Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide. Deb has explored and photographed several cemeteries in researching 19th century funerary art & architecture, cemetery symbolism, and Civil War history. Retired from the corporate world, she currently works in Public Safety.

To pre-register for this ZOOM event: 
click this link to the Central Library's calendar page.
All registrants will receive an email Saturday morning with log on information approximately one hour before the presentation.

Hiram Sibley Home on Rochester's East Avenue"East Avenue in Its Gilded Age"
Saturday, October 10
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon

Presented by Sally Millick

East Avenue in Rochester was once one of the most glamorous and beautiful avenues in the nation - a result of the city's boomtown wealth of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the families who built "country homes" on the "Road to Pittsford" also have permanent "estates" (or plots) at Mount Hope Cemetery.
 Hiram Sibley Home at 1400 East Ave.

We'll explore the history of the avenue itself, as well as the families who resided here and now at Mount Hope: the industries they worked within, how they have influenced our lives and others around the world, and how they lived their lives. Hear their stories, and view their grand mansions - some which still stand, and some which are lost.

Sally MillickSally Millick is a past trustee and longtime cemetery tour author and guide with the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery. She is active with other historical pursuits and presentations, and currently a board member of the Friends and Foundation of Rochester Public Library. Sally has contributed to several books on history of upstate NY and Mount Hope Cemetery, and has photographed many Victorian-era cemeteries in her travels - most recently to the Colon Cemetery in Havana, Cuba.

Pop-Up historian Pat Sorce
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17     10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Visit the information table located at the South Cemetery Entrance, opposite the Distillery Restaurant for the location and times of Pop-Up Historians throughout the cemetery.

Please be respectful of others: Maintain six feet social/physical distancing, and wear facial coverings when engaging with Pop-Up Historians and information tent staff.

BRING YOUR BICYCLE! The historians will be located throughout the south end of the cemetery with lots of space between each one. Cycling around will be an easy and fun way to experience the cemetery and learn about some of our permanent residents. 

Trustee Pat Sorce at the September Pop-Up event. 
She'll be on her bicycle for the October event.

The following event has been postponed until 2021:

Votercade 2020 Logo
Votercade 2020
will arrive at Mt. Hope Cemetery on
July 25, 2020!

Mount Hope Cemetery is a site partner of Votercade 2020, a program of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House.