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Stories in Stone invites you on an incredible and unforgettable adventure into local and international history, centering on the symbols and other intriguing information found on gravestones.

Your eyes will be opened.

How did one young woman from the 1800’s change mourning traditions and gravestones forever?

What is the meaning of the obelisk and why did this Egyptian motif come to be so popular as a gravestone?

What do differences in gravestones tell us about our history through the lenses of class and wealth, age of person, religion and denomination, occupation, materials and technology, culture and historical era?

The same way fashion has changed throughout different eras, the same way architecture and entertainment and art have changed over the decades and centuries, gravestones have also changed a great deal. Learning how these differences reflect our society over time – what we valued then and now, and how we’ve viewed both ourselves and each other throughout history – will change the way you look at the past, and yourself, forever.  

Together on this tour, we’ll dive into the amazing world of ‘gravestone iconography’ – we’ll look at many examples of remarkable stones and find out what the symbols and images mean, why certain images are no longer common, cultural and class differences, children’s stones, modern stones and much more. You’ll discover trends in cemetery design, find out about Pembroke’s earliest cemeteries, learn about interesting burial practices throughout history, and get to know some famous Canadian memorials. You’ll come to understand how and why church policies have changed concerning what’s permitted on gravestones now versus decades ago with regard to both iconography and text – and we’ll also delve into some of the extraordinary stories of ordinary people who lived in our community long ago.

There is so much here of great interest, and it is my goal that this tour sparks a passion for history within you that will last a lifetime. You will come away knowledgeable, open-eyed, changed.

DURATION: 1.5-2 hours

NOTE: $1 of each admission is given to the involved churches for cemetery upkeep

WHERE: The tour takes place at a Pembroke cemetery. Directions will be given upon booking. Admission is paid (cash only) in the ten minutes before the tour. The tour does require walking up and down slopes, and gravestone, sticks and other natural debris, holes etc. are present.

***Neither your guide nor her company nor the churches who own this cemetery are responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur during Pembroke History tours.

TO RESERVE ON A TOUR DATE OR BOOK YOUR OWN TOUR: call Treena at 613-635-7281


“Treena Hein’s cemetery tour is a fascinating look at local history. I learned something about some of the prominent citizens in our community’s past, as well as about different forms of memorialization, changing trends in symbols and inscriptions, and much else. Her knowledge and enthusiasm are impressive. Highly recommended!” – Rev. John Vaudry, Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Pembroke

Very informative, gave an excellent glimpse into the social history of Pembroke!” – Angela Siebarth, Curator and Director, Champlain Trail Museum, Pembroke

“I never knew there was so much incredible history in a cemetery. It’s changed the way I look at things, and I am now REALLY keen to check out more old stones in my area.” – Walter from Peterborough

“What I learned on this tour puts everything in a new light. Thank you.” Maggie from Ottawa

“What a great tour. It’s jam packed with so much interesting information. You really helped me understand so much about our society and how it has changed, all by looking at what’s on gravestones. And the international connections – amazing.”Gerald from Toronto

“I’ll have to take this tour again.” Betty from Pembroke


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