"Cemeteries are as much a place for the living as they are for the dead, and Lola Haskins brings to life some of the interesting people buried in Fifteen Florida Cemeteries. Along with local history information about the cemeteries and the towns where they’re located, she highlights fascinating stories of many people buried there. This book is a fun, informative read for those enamored with cemeteries."--Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, author of Your Guide to Cemetery Research
"With a poet’s insight, Lola Haskins reveals varied chapters of Florida’s fascinating history in an unusual way: by visiting some of the state’s most distinctive cemeteries. Readers will find themselves in the company of a delightful guide with an eye for quirky details (the gravestone that reads ‘See Reverse Side’) and for spooky tales. But we also find in Haskins a sympathetic companion who understands the great issues of mortality and grief we confront in cemeteries."--Joy Wallace Dickinson, author of Remembering Orlando
Lola Haskins takes readers on a tour like no other. Travelling to Florida’s most interesting cemeteries, she visits Napoleon’s nephew, tells the gruesome story of a man who dug up his love and lived with her for seven years, and even shares a murder mystery.
Whether the final resting places of Civil War soldiers killed in battle or of the four-hundred-year-old remains of nuns peacefully interred by their shell-studded chapel, each plot has a unique story to tell. The 1918 flu epidemic, for example, comes alive in five graves behind a small white church overlooking the Santa Fe River: four children and their mother, dead within a week of each other.
Each chapter features a substantial description of (and driving directions to) a particular location, an overview of the local community, and an extended profile of one of that cemetery’s most interesting "residents." Haskins also includes first-person reflections on mortality, on what it means to die and to grieve for the dead, and fact-filled discussions of changing burial practices and religious beliefs. She even visits a pet cemetery and a racehorse cemetery, sharing stories of a ghost dog and a horse that got a speeding ticket.
Award-winning poet Lola Haskins has written twelve books and is a contributor to The Wild Heart of Florida.