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Oct 17, 2022

Just as cities and small towns in Indiana have evolved during more than 200 years of statehood, so have their cemeteries. Hoosier History Live will explore that evolution, particularly the changes in the ways cemeteries have been designed and landscaped.

This will include a look at the Rural Cemetery Movement that began in the mid-1800s and involved creating professionally designed cemeteries in park-like settings. Several of the largest cemeteries in the state, from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne to Terre Haute and Evansville, were created as part of the Rural Cemetery Movement.

Before that movement, graveyards in the early 1800s were much different, says Jeannie Regan-Dinius, director of historic preservation at Crown Hill Heritage Foundation in Indianapolis. She will be Nelson's guest to share insights about the evolution of cemetery design as well as challenges that currently confront cemeteries across the state as, in her words, they "struggle with the historic landscape, the upkeep of tombstones, mausoleums and the natural environment. The debate over which is more important, the landscape or the tombstones, pulls on funds, volunteer time and decisions made."