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Coming Soon: The Roofed Graves of Delmarva

Book cover photos courtesy of the Delaware Public Archives.

I’m pleased to announce that after three years of research, writing, and/or procrastination, my book The Roofed Graves of Delmarva is in production and will be available in the near future, probably mid-March. It’s about the little-known local tradition of building a wooden, shingled roof over a new grave in the mid- to late 1800s. No roofs are known to survive today, but old newspaper articles, photographs, and eyewitness accounts shed light on what was once a popular custom in Sussex and Wicomico counties. This book is my attempt to gather all of the available information about roofed graves, learn more about them, and investigate connections to Southern grave shelters and American Indian burial customs.

I’ve chosen to self-publish the book under the name Bald Cypress Books. This is a DIY effort, including interior and cover design (so it’s not perfect, but hopefully it doesn’t look too amateurish). I’m working with printing and distribution platform IngramSpark, so the book will be available through Amazon and other online retailers, and brick-and-mortar booksellers can order discounted copies, as they can from any other publisher. I’ll also be ordering a quantity to sell locally.  I’m also looking into organizing some kind of book launch event, so stay tuned.

– Chris Slavens

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