Popular Torch Light Tours
Close the 2010 Tour Season
The Friends of Mount Hope end-of-season
Torch Light Tours introduced hundreds of
new visitors to the cemetery.
Photographer James Palis captured
some of the magical light effects in these
Dennis Carr (left), trustee of The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery, watches as Dick Miller,City of Rochester Cemetery Staff, works with Casey Kelly, Eagle Scout, Boy Scout Troop 220, and other troop members to put up stones in an old section of Mount Hope Cemetery.
This project is one of several volunteer opportunities that exist within Mount Hope Cemetery. For information, click on
Volunteer at Mount Hope.
Students from the Rochester City School District’s School Of The Arts on Prince St. created a video project on death and dying featuring Mount Hope Cemetery and two Friends of Mount Hope Trustees, Joan Hunt and Dennis Carr. To view this creative work, click on the following YouTube link: Post Mortem documentary
2010 Annual Meeting of the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery
The Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, April 13, beginning with a brief business review of 2009.
Following the annual business report, World of Inquiry School No. 58 Vice Principal Sheela Webster and AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow Laura Lonski gave an outstanding presentation about the school’s seventh grade project, “The Road to Freedom.” This Expeditionary Learning program combined science, mathematics, art, writing skills, and history in a research project based on 30 historical figures interred in Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends of Mount Hope president Marilyn Nolte worked with the students to identify their research subjects, explore their history, and discover why these seemingly “forgotten” figures deserve recognition within the City of Rochester for their important contributions to our heritage. Students Unique Fair-Smith and Taariq Cleveland shared with the audience their research project on the life of Civil War soldier William Kidd, Jr. They presented an excellent case for honoring this compelling character for his acts of bravery as an officer in the Union Army.
The main speaker of the evening was Valerie O’Hara, President of Pike Stained Glass Studios. Valerie presented the history of the art of stained glass windows from earliest times to present. One of the oldest stained glass studios in the country, Pike Stained Glass was established in 1908 by William Pike, Valerie’s great-uncle. He learned his trade as an employee of the famous Louis Comfort Tiffany studios in Long Island. Windows designed and manufactured by Valerie, her father James, and her great-uncle can be seen in many churches and hospitals throughout the Rochester area.
Historians and Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery Trustees Jean Czerkas and Tim O’Connell Honored for Research and Discovery of Frederick Douglass Home on Hamilton Street
While searching cemetery ledgers in 2003, local historian and Friends of Mount Hope trustee Jean Czerkas discovered an entry for Alice Louisa Sprague, whom she recognized as the granddaughter of Frederick Douglass. Further research by Czerkas and Tim O’Connell revealed that a home at 271 Hamilton Street was once owned by Frederick Douglass.
After he moved to Washington, D.C. in 1872, Douglass kept the Hamilton Street house and lived there off and on, retaining ownership until his death in 1895. The home was occupied by his daughter, Rosetta Douglass Sprague and son-in-law Nathan Sprague. Now the residence of Sherri Dukes, 271 Hamilton Street was designated a landmark property by the City of Rochester in January, 2010. In February, the Monroe County Legislature honored the contributions of Jean Czerkas, Tim O’Connell and Sherri Dukes in discovering the existence of a home once owned by one of the giants of Rochester history.