Aired: March 24, 2012

Grave Matters

Photo by Don Struke

The Victorians photographed their dead before burial.  Abraham Lincoln’s death might have popularized embalming.  Some people today have their ashes made into diamonds. Bernard Means (Virginia Commonwealth University) studies how and why we bury our dead – and how that’s changed over the last few centuries.

Plus: A trip to some orphan graveyards – forgotten places where we’ve buried our dead.

Also featured: They’re called Lost Communities – the places on the map that have lost their original industry or way of life.  Sometimes they’re still struggling to survive; other times they no longer exist at all.  Terri Fisher (Virginia Tech) has visited the general stores, schools, train depots, and post offices of towns along Virginia’s back road and interviewed longtime residents and brought those places back to life in her new book, Lost Communities of Virginia.


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