Coming to America: The Story of Laurel Hill's Immigrants
Beyond the Golden Door
Thursday, June 28, 6:00 PM
America has always been a land of immigrants… So, too, is her first National Historic Landmark Cemetery. Laurel Hill’s original Superintendent, Thomas Drinnan – the person to first break cemetery ground – was himself an Irish immigrant. Many of the illustrious Philadelphians who would later make Laurel Hill their final place of rest were not native to the city. Henry Disston, whose name graces the largest of the cemetery’s mausolea, immigrated while still an impoverished child from England before building his Saw Works fortune. Over the past 175 years, Laurel Hill has come to bear the remains of men and women from races, creeds and countries around the world, with some of our most recent burials including immigrants from Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Laurel Hill’s founding mission as a nonsectarian retreat of peace and splendor echoes the American promise of opportunity and equality that continues to beckon immigrants to our shores. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we honor those individuals whose life stories reflect that promise – proud of their native lands, but choosing American soil as their final homes. This walking tour will be led by history buff, financial advisor and young Armenian-American, Paul Sookiasian. It will conclude with 4th of July refreshments, beer and hot dog roasting.
$20/person; $18/seniors + students; $17/members
Advance registration is requested. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance online, or by calling 215.228.8200.