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Stamford Historical Offers Tours In The 'Spirit' Of The Season

Thomas Zoubek of the Stamford Historical Society will lead tours Saturday of area cemeteries. Photo Credit: Stamford Historical Society
The Stamford Historical Society will offer a tour of cemeteries Saturday to help residents get that "spooky" feeling in time for Halloween. Photo Credit: Frank MacEachern

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Old burial grounds provide the perfect atmosphere for the Halloween season.

You can get the seasonal “spirit” with the help of Stamford Historical Society’s Thomas Zoubek and volunteer Andrew Mellilo when they offer a tour, "Gravestones & Stamford History." The tour includes visits to the North Street Burial Ground as well as St. Andrew’s and St. John’s Cemetery. 

The tour takes place from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5, and tours will take place rain or shine. Meet at the North Street entrance of the Northfield Burial Ground between Franklin and Summer streets to take part. 

Have you ever wondered about the meaning behind the death’s heads, urns and willows found on old gravestones? The tour of the Northfield Burial Ground will focus on the motifs of a number of stones as well as an exploration of the structure of the cemetery as a whole. It will explore he motifs of a number of stones as well as an exploration of the structure of the cemetery as a whole. 

Participants will also learn about recent efforts to save and maintain the two cemeteries, North Street (or Northfield) and St. Andrew’s. 

Zoubek began working with historic cemeteries in high school as part of an independent study project in Darien to document all stones existing before 1810 in the town. He later completed a large scale study of Colonial period gravestones in Rhode Island as part of his master’s degree at Brown University. His work in the graveyards in Providence led to the recovery of nearly 50 stones that had become buried over time. 

Mellilo's work in the Northfield Burial Ground began with a search for his ancestors. When attempting to discover who was responsible for the upkeep of historic cemeteries in Stamford, Mellilo found that there really is no such entity. He recruited volunteers to help clean up and maintain the North Street Cemetery and has expanded his work to include the St. Andrew's Cemetery. 

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