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Boneyards: Detroit Under Ground

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814333532
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2010
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 1,374,797
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 12, 2010

    Not recommended

    Richard Bak has chosen to copy from my book, Detroit's Woodmere Cemetery, published in 2004 by Arcadia Publishing. Here are comparisons from my book and his book regarding Woodmere Cemetery:
    1. In my book, I wrote, "Some of the trees harvested were used to make wooden coffins in the carpenter shop, which no longer exists." In Bak's book, he states, "For years, cemetery workers took advantage of the heavily wooded grounds to harvest trees to make coffins in the carpenter's shop."
    2. In my book, "In November of that year, Anna Maria Schwartz became the first person buried at the cemetery in section C." In Bak's book, "One November day in 1868, workers dug a grave for Anna Marie Schwartz--the first of many burials to come to Woodmere Cemetery." This information could only be found in Woodmere's records to which Bak had no access.
    3. In my book, "The owners took advantage of the law that took effect on February 19, 1869, stating saloons were to be kept at a distance of a quarter of a mile from the entrance of a cemetery." In Bak's book, "At the time Woodmere opened, a new state law prohibited saloons from opening within a quarter-mile of a cemetery's entrance." Again, Bak could not have known about this unless he had read the stockholder meeting minutes which he never used.
    4. In my book, "In 1929, the Detroit Crematorium and Columbarium closed its doors...so the Detroit Crematorium and Columbarium's ashes and niches were brought to Woodmere." In Bak's book, "By the time the Detroit Crematorium closed its oven doors in 1929 and transferred its ashes and niches to Woodmere Cemetery..."
    5. In my book, "A portrait of Barbara Schorr, the first person to be cremated in Michigan and the Northwest, hangs near the crematorium. Her cremation took place on December 10, 1887, at the Detroit Crematorium and Columbarium." In Bak's book, "Here, on December 10, 1887, Barbara Schorr became the first person in the entire Northwest to be cremated." He could not have known this information without copying it from my book.
    6. In my book, I discuss the deaths of Edward John Lutman and the Gores who were buried during a strike by the cemetery workers. He talks about these very same burials even though there were many, many other deaths that took place at this time. Without going through Woodmere's archives, he could not have known about this.
    7. Bak also states in his book that a man who died a few months after the Ford Hunger March could not be buried at Woodmere because he was black: "Because he was black, Williams was not allowed to be buried with the other slain activists at Woodmere Cemetery;" This is outrageously wrong. Since Woodmere's opening day in 1869, blacks have been buried at Woodmere. In the early records, "colored" is noted in the files for black people. Also, starting around 1922, Charles Diggs, who was a prominent black funeral director in the Detroit area, handled over 500 burials at Woodmere, including the cremation of Curtis Williams whom Bak refers to in his book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2010

    Great for those interested in History and a perspective on our Culture

    I found the book easy to read and interesting. Am giving another copy as a gift. Would highly recommend for those interested in local history. The book gives insight into how our history is imprinted with how we treat our dead. Also, to the other comment from GHershenzon ...While there may have been some similar statements from your book, this book was about more than woodlawn cemetary. Looks like Richard Bak may have used your book as research, but research does NOT equal plagiarism.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2011

    Beautiful book!

    I picked up a copy of this book while visiting family back home in Michigan and couldn't put it down! I found the topic quite interesting and made me think about my own family's traditions around the death of our loved ones. The photographs that helped illustrate the book were beautiful. I'd highly recommend this book.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Should Be Buried With Last Weeks Garbage

    This book is lousy! Got it as a gift and am glad I didn't pay for it, what a waste of money. Nothing more than a glorified list of cemeteries. A quick look in the Yellow Pages will tell you more about Detroit cemeteries than this book. Looks to be hasitly put together and includes Jackson. Really?? When did Jackson become part of the Detroit area?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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