Join us on October 5 as Tyringham resident John Hanson gives a talk on Early Epitaphs from local graveyards. Hanson has been collecting and studying early New England epitaph verse for years. In this talk, he will share some favorite verses from local gravestones and discuss their sources, including Scripture, hymnody, lyric poetry and epitaphs made-to-order for a particular individual. The talk will consider how eighteenth-century Berkshire residents might have accessed the source texts, far from the centers of commerce and publishing. Hanson will also discuss what these very personal choices tell us about early New Englanders’ attitudes towards life and death. This program will start with a presentation at the Museum and then the group will travel to the Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Monterey to see examples of the epitaphs discussed. Dress for the weather and plan for a short drive, 4 miles, from the Museum to the cemetery.
John Hanson is a Williamstown native, a business executive in Cambridge, and third-generation homeowner in Tyringham.