Did you know your local cemetery holds a vast wealth of information? All you have to do is read the gravestones.
At Hillside Cemetery, in North Adams, you'll find a personal friend of two U.S. Presidents; an attorney who invented a railroad brake; the father of archaeological photography; two physicians who started a school and an eyewitness to President Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address.
Head to the Stockbridge Cemetery, in Stockbridge, and you'll find a few famous individuals as well, including illustrator Norman Rockwell and Elizabeth Freeman, who are buried in the famous Sedgwick Pie. You'll also find the graves of one of the oldest survivors of the Titanic; one of the original marketers of the Ouija Board; the inventor of the electric streetcar; the man who laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable; one of the attending physicians of President William McKinley who cared for him after he was shot by an assassin and the designer of the Movado or "dot watch."
The Berkshire County Historical Society is offering tours of Hillside Cemetery on Oct. 8 and of Stockbridge Cemetery on Oct. 15. Veteran historian and guide Paul W. Marino will lead the Hillside tour. Historian Elizabeth Dillman leads the Stockbridge tour. Both tours begin at 2 p.m. Rain cancels. Rain dates are Oct. 9 and Oct. 16. Sturdy footwear is recommended as the tours traverse a variety of uneven terrain.
Tours are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Reservations are required and can be made at berkshirehistory.org