A wooden sign welcomes visitors to Pine Lake Cemetery in 2016. Visitors will learn the history of some of its inhabitants in an upcoming tour.

A wooden sign welcomes visitors to Pine Lake Cemetery in 2016. Visitors will learn the history of some of its inhabitants in an upcoming tour.

File photo by Deb Jacques

Cemetery tour highlights historical society’s fall offerings

By: Sherri Kolade | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 20, 2018


WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society is plotting a few activities to excite local history buffs this season.

The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society’s fall events include the Pine Lake Cemetery Tour 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 13. Attendees will learn about the deceased who reside at the cemetery at the northeast corner of Lone Pine and Middlebelt roads. 

Gravesite docents will explain the lives of sports figures, founding residents and prominent individuals at the cemetery. 

Gina Gregory, president of the GWBHS, said the cemetery is home to several Civil War soldiers.

“It is interesting to learn about them; also interesting, I’ve noticed that the style of headstones reflect the times,” she said.

The artwork on the tombstones reflects the religious and social mores of the times.

“One of them has an open Bible on top of them, another one has flowers — just different styles,” she said.

A $5 donation is requested, and an optional gathering at a local restaurant will follow the tour. For more information, call (248) 757-2451. 

The GWBHS will hold an open house event, “1817: Finding Oakland County,” 1-4 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road. Attendees can learn about the 1817 West Bloomfield Township survey with Helen Jane Peters. The survey measured and marked the boundaries of the 25 townships in Oakland County, according to a press release. 

Permanent exhibits will be displayed for discussions on local history and culture. Hands-on activities are planned, and there is no charge to attend the open house.

An autumn nature walk will be held 2-3 p.m. on the same day at the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, 4700 Pontiac Trail. Naturalist Carol Fink will host the guided tour of the scenic terrain and autumn atmosphere. There is no charge.

Karen Huyghe, communications coordinator for the GWBHS, said that open houses are held 1-4 p.m. the second Sunday of every month.

“We try really hard to have a different topic every month,” she said, adding that the hands-on activities help kids who are looking for something to do.

She said that the cemetery tour is held every other year and usually draws 30 or 40 people. The event is not scary.

“It is not meant to be scary, and some people associate it with Halloween,” she said, adding that it is kid-friendly. 

Huyghe said that the GWBHS sees a lot of engagement in the community.

“(We are) very excited to work with the community and put on GWBHS events for the family,” she said.

A child’s love of history has to grow from somewhere, she said. “Some of these events can start some of that — it’s quite magical.”

Gregory said that history creates a sense of community and continuity “that becomes less and less available to us in our modern society.”

She said history is a great way to connect. “Learn about the past by looking at the past, engage in the present and look forward to the future.”

For more information, go to www.gwbhs.org.