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IHS Press Releases Crown Hill: History, Spirit and Sanctuary

November 9, 2013

Indianapolis? The Indiana Historical Society Press is pleased to announce the release of Crown Hill: History, Spirit, and Sanctuary. Published in cooperation with the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, the book examines the cemetery’s complete history and places its story in the larger historical context of the development and growth of American landscape architecture.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, Crown Hill Cemetery has been a vital part of the Indianapolis community dating back to its first interment, Lucy Ann Seaton, on June 2, 1864. Since then, Crown Hill has grown from a “rural cemetery” into the nation’s third largest private cemetery and is a community treasure that serves a broad range of needs and stands as a monument to the memories of hundreds of famous Hoosiers and the thousands more who selected Crown Hill as their final resting place.

In addition, the book includes vignettes of the famous families and individuals buried and/or entombed at Crown Hill and numerous photographs of the cemetery, its remarkable architecture, intricate sculptures memorializing the dead, and its lush landscape in every season. The cemetery is not only a place of memory, but it is also a place of contemplation for thousands of Indianapolis residents that pass through the site annually for such special events as Memorial Day, Benjamin Harrison’s birthday, Veterans Day, and other public and private group tours. Its rural setting also draws nature lovers to see deer, foxes, red-tailed hawks, and the more than 250 species of trees and shrubs on the grounds.

About the Authors

Douglas A. Wissing is a Bloomington-based independent journalist and scholar, as well as an author whose work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, LifeNational Geographic Traveler, and He is the author of the book Pioneer in Tibet: The Life and Perils of Dr. Albert Shelton (2004). In recognition of his research in Tibet, the Royal Geographical Society named him a Fellow. Wissing has also reported widely on the war in Afghanistan, including radio work for the BBC and Indiana’s National Public Radio network. His time in Afghanistan also led to production of the book Funding the Enemy: How U.S. Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban (2012).

Marianne Tobias is an artist, author, community leader, educator and philanthropist. Tobias, a pianist, is resident musicologist and program annotator for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and a member of The Landmark Trio, the artists in residence at the Old Centrum. Tobias wrote Classical Music without Fear: A Guide for General Audiences and co-authored Opera for All Seasons: 60 Years of Indiana University Opera Theater. She serves on the Boards of the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, the Indianapolis Symphony, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indy Baroque, Indiana Landmarks and Indiana Historical Society. She is a member of the Butler University Board of Visitors and the Indiana University Foundation. Tobias is also a founding member of IU Women of Philanthropy and the music program at the Eskenazki Health Center.

Rebecca W. Dolan is director of the Friesner Herbarium at Butler University. She manages the Herbarium’s 100,000-specimen collection of pressed and dried plants that serve as a reference for the study of Indiana flora. Dolan is digitizing the Herbarium’s specimen records, is working with other botanists in the state to produce an atlas of plant distributions, conducts field and laboratory studies of rare native plants, and studies prairie restoration with The Nature Conservancy. Her writings have appeared in the American Journal of Botany, Journal of Ecology, American Midland Naturalist, The Southeastern Naturalist and The American Fern Journal.

Anne Ryder is a freelance television journalist, writer and member of the Indiana Broadcast Hall of Fame. She spent 20 years as an anchor and reporter at WTHR-13 (Indianapolis NBC affiliate), where she covered stories of resilience in the face of trial and difficulty. Her reporting has taken her from Bosnia and the Kosovar refugee camps of Albania to Calcutta, where she was granted a rare interview with Mother Teresa. Ryder has earned 16 regional Emmy Awards, five national honors, and the Doris H. Merritt Award from the Indiana University School of Nursing for her support of the nursing profession.


Title:                        Crown Hill: History  Spirit, and Sanctuary
Price:                        $39.95
Pages:                      380
Size:                         11 x 11
Cover:                       Hardcover
Publication Date:  October 2013|
ISBN:                        978-0-87195-301-8

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