UM-Dearborn professor tours cemetery with students

A few miles from UM-Dearborn is a nearly 155-year-old community gathering place. There are historical heroes and villains, rich and poor, immigrants and founding families, pioneers and followers.

All silent, except for a few words carved in stone.

There are about 200,000 people at Woodmere Cemetery in Detroit – all with their own stories. To share some of those stories and teach local history, UM-Dearborn political science professor emeritus Ron Stockton, a well-known cemetery researcher, takes students there every year.

“It is not a single community but a mosaic of diversity in terms of peoples, cultures and even religions,” he said. “I share stories about specific people or stones to put it in context. We need to move beyond seeing cemeteries as these scary places with dead people. It is a place where the people who have shaped our community live together.”

Stockton recently took Honors students on a tour of the cemetery. Here are some of the stories he shared.

The best laid plans don’t always come to fruition, even if they are made by multi-millionaires

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