Cities of Silence: A Guide to
Mobile's Historic Cemeteries

By John Sledge

Book Available on Mobile's Historic Cemeteries

"Cities of Silence: A Guide to Mobile's Historic Cemeteries," a Tricentennial project of the MHDC has been published by the University of Alabama Press. The book focuses on the Port City's most important 19th century urban cemeteries: Church Street Graveyard, Magnolia, Old Catholic, Sha'arai Shomayim and Ahavas Chesed Cemeteries. Written by John Sledge, architectural historian with the MHDC and board member of the Friends of Magnolia Cemetery, the book features over 70 stunning black and white images by Grand Bay photographer Sheila Hagler, as well as historic photographs and maps.

Publication was made possible by generous grants from the J.L. Bedsole and A. S. Mitchell Foundations. "Cities of Silence" sells for $35 and any profits go to the MHDC. The book may be purchased directly from the MHDC (251-208-7281 or email) or the University of Alabama Press (

Reviewer's Comments

"Cities of Silence" is a truly lovely book. Crumbling tombs, compassionate angels, broken columns...capture the beauty, the decay, and the sadness of Mobile's cemeteries. --New Orleans Times Picyune

A well-written book filled with luminous images. --The Association for Gravestone Studies Quarterly

The book will be handsome on your coffee table, and an object of lively inspection and conversation for your guests. But it offers more too. It's well worth delving into, as a visit in its pages is almost as good as a guided tour of the five cemeteries pictured and discussed. --Mobile Register

This pictorial book completely engages the reader with words and images that deserve to be lingered over and absorbed. --Southern Living

For more information, contact John Sledge at 208-7281 or email.

Additional Historic District Information:

There are additional brochures available at the Mobile Welcome Center. These include materials for the Mobile Historic District Driving Tour and the Church Street East Historic District Poster.

© 1999-2009 Mobile Historic Development Commission, All Rights Reserved.