The madam of Birmingham

The madam of Birmingham

In 1873, Louise Wooster was a well paid lady of the evening (don’t you just love this term?) when a deadly cholera epidemic swept through Birmingham, Alabama. Several thousand people fled the city, but Lou stayed to nurse the sick, feed the hungry, and prepare the dead for funerals.

After the epidemic, she moved to Montgomery, Alabama to open a brothel, but by 1880, Lou had returned to Birmingham operating multiple brothels near City Hall where she could attract the wealthiest patrons. She made a fortune, donated heavily to charities and frequently came to the aid of fallen women.


Lou was also known as “the women of many lovers”, the last sweetheart of John Wilkes Booth, the actor, who killed Abraham Lincoln. She chronicled her exploits in a book called Autobiography of a Magdalene.

Want to know more? Check out this article: Early Birmingham madam who saved sick will have scrapbook in history center.




Leave a comment

Filed under Odds and Ends

Promoting the historic cemetery

Pioneer cemetery

Raising awareness of your local historic cemetery (and greasing the wheels for obtaining restoration donations) can be as simple as writing an engaging article about it for the local paper.

Since everyone loves a good human interest story and since many local newspapers are always looking for unique article ideas, why not steal borrow a leaf from Newcastle, WA’s book and write something fun?

If there are a lot of stories, make it a series and be sure to include photos of some of the more unique carvings.

Here’s the link to Coal Miner’s Cemetery–Part I.

Many thanks to JoAnne M for alerting me to this!


Leave a comment

Filed under Cemetery Fundraising

The irony of funeral home names

Matchbook cover 4

Van Wormer needs a little thought (worms), but the Byrn Funeral Home definitely made me look twice.

Leave a comment

Filed under Humor, Odds and Ends, What's In a Name?

Sharing Saturday: 23 creepy headstone photos

OK, I thought I’d seen some weird stuff out there, but these take the cake. Especially #15.



Leave a comment

Filed under Sharing Saturday

The mailman

Lakeview Cemetery

Lakeview Cemetery

According to the stories, Martin Hubbard was the mailman who rowed back and forth across Lake Washington, carrying the mail. One day, he never made it home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Odds and Ends, Snapshot Stories

Off to the sea

In the ocean

This is up in Little River Cemetery, near Mendocino, CA. Frankly, seeing the view that’s right off the cliff from where this is located, I’d want to be in the ocean, too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Odds and Ends

GoFundMe Fundraising example

I mentioned in an earlier post how social media can help with fundraising. Well, here’s an example of what one group is doing out in Rochester, NY after a tornado touched down in their local cemetery on June 10.

Damages included headstones weighing from 200 – 700 pounds, getting pushed off their foundations, and numerous trees being uprooted.

GoFundMe page.

PR announcement to help garner donations.


Leave a comment

Filed under Cemetery Fundraising