Birth of a Cemetery Book Review from @kleffnotes

John F. Llewellyn delves deep into the history of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in his book, Birth of a Cemetery: Forest Lawn Memorial-Park. This particular location is well known within the Los Angeles area. While it originally was established in Glendale, California the Forest Lawn Memorial-Park and Mortuaries corporation has expended throughout the state of California. In keeping with Hubert Eaton’s dream of what the memorial-park term meant these cemeteries have grown into something far more than just somewhere for burials.

In his introduction Llewellyn delves into the explanation of how Eaton became the noted founder of Forest Lawn, while he did not actually join the corporation until after it had already been conceived. While Eaton was not one of the original minds behind the purchasing of land and the selling of plots, when he joined the institution he had a very clear vision of what Forest Lawn could be. He wanted to expand it into something that was beautiful and could provide more than just burial services. Llewellyn’s book does focus more specifically on the early years of the cemetery and while he delves into Eaton’s work there, a majority of the book is primarily about what occurred before he took over control of Forest Lawn.

Llewellyn provides not only exceptionally detailed information about the history of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park within Birth of a Cemetery, but he also shares some primary documents to connect readers with the history of the cemetery. These includes maps, drawings, notes, and even telegram recreations to show planning and communication between the people who were working to grow Forest Lawn. This was just an interesting read and if you have ever been curious about Forest Lawn, which has some very well known residents, this is the book for you. You can find Birth of a Cemetery: Forest Lawn Memorial Park on sale now.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog,, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, and I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp.

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