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  • Tara Crutchfield

Tiger Flowers Cemetery Tour

Photograph by Rebecca Whalon

In honor of Black History Month, the Lakeland Public Library is hosting a Special Edition Stories and Stones Tour of Tiger Flowers Cemetery on February 18. Stories and Stones is a monthly tour offered from October through April, alternating between Roselawn Cemetery and a combined tour of Lakeview and Tiger Flowers Cemeteries. 

Librarian and event organizer Rebecca Whalon explained the Stories and Stones concept. “We walk through the cemeteries, and I teach you what to look for as far as the stones in the cemetery. What do certain designs mean? What can you tell by the material a gravestone is made of? What can you tell by the symbology on it?”

Along with iconography and the meaning behind stones, Whalon time portals guests through Lakeland’s history via vignettes about individuals interred there.

February’s Stories and Stones Tour will focus exclusively on Lakeland’s historic Black cemetery, Tiger Flowers. “We’re going to tell their stories, and as we do that, learn more about Lakeland’s history,” Whalon said. “All of these people contributed to the Lakeland we have today, and their contributions were just as valid as from any of the other cemeteries. We want to make sure that’s not forgotten.” Notable figures discussed on the special edition tour include veteran stories, that of civil rights advocate Madeline Brooks, and Lakeland’s first Black librarian, Elsie Dunbar.

The Special Edition Stories and Stones tour, aimed at a teen and adult audience, will last about an hour and is free to attend. Those interested must register in advance, as the event has a limited capacity. Registration can be done online or by calling the library.

The tour will commence at the southern border of Tiger Flowers Cemetery and will include walking through paved and unpaved areas and potentially uneven ground. Caution and appropriate walking shoes are advised.

Community groups interested in taking a private Stories and Stones Tour by appointment are encouraged to contact Rebecca Whalon at the Lakeland Public Library. Find more information about the Special Edition Stories and Stones Tour of Tiger Flowers Cemetery on the library’s website below.


Special Edition Stories and Stones Tour of Tiger Flowers Cemetery
When: Saturday, February 18, 2023
9:00 am - 10:15 am
Where: Tiger Flowers Cemetery


Lakeland Public Library
100 Lake Morton Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 834-4280
FB: Lakeland Public Library
IG @lakelandpubliclibrary


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