Dear Diary: Laurel Hill Encounters from Thomas P. Cope’s Diary



Laurel Hill East

Thomas P. Cope (1768-1854) was a successful businessman, notable Quaker, and civic-minded Philadelphia resident. Cope kept a diary from 1800 through 1851 in which he recorded matters of national and local importance, along with occasionally humorous and quirky vignettes from his life. Discovered in a shed at a family summer house in the 1930s, the original diary was edited by a descendant of Cope’s, Eliza Cope Harrison, and published in 1978. Although Cope is not buried at Laurel Hill East, many people he mentions in his diary are. On this tour, we will visit the gravesites of several of these people, from close friends and family to notable Philadelphia political and business leaders. We will learn in no uncertain terms what Cope thought of them… spoiler… he did not like them all!

Tour Guide: Rich Wilhelm


  • $17/General Admission (Ages 13 and up)
  • $15/Seniors (Ages 65+) and Students with ID
  • $12/Members of the Friends of Laurel Hill
  • $8.50/Youth (Ages 6-12)
  • $1.90/Access Card Holders (can purchase up to 4 tickets) **
  • Free/Ages 5 and under

** Access Card + Valid Photo I.D. must be presented at check-in.

Please note – youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.

Advanced ticket purchases are strongly encouraged!


This tour departs from Laurel Hill East’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Information on directions, parking, and visiting guidelines are linked here to better plan your visit.