This is a new and exciting work in progress with new content added often
Discover great facts about all Chicago area cemeteries. Most are still visible but many have vanished or no longer outwardly resemble a place of burial. The location of many of these vanished cemeteries will surprise you, some still containing thousands of bodies, You will be surprised to learn where the dead have been and still are, in and around Chicago.
Here you will find an amazing 803 listings. Thumbnail information of 272 cemeteries plus 258 cross references will be found in the “list of all cemeteries” pages. In addition there are over 300 Jewish cemeteries and sections within other cemeteries, primarily Jewish Waldheim
The blog posts contain additional information on selected cemeteries and most interesting related topics and features.
IN THE NEWS:
Famicity, based in France, posted November 24 2017 written by Erin Harris. https://blog.famicity.com/2017/11/preserving-cemeteries-in-chicago-illinois/?lang=en
DNAinfo was a great print and electronic media in Chicago. Check out their Oct 29 2017 Article https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20171030/west-ridge/barry-fleig-cemetery-blog-sheiners-picnic-grove
A GOOD READ about Cook County Cemetery (Dunning): Grave Mistake by Harold Henderson Sept 1989 https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/grave-mistake/Content?oid=874451
And for the incredible story of how we lost that cemetery containing 38,000 souls, visit www.cookcountycemetery.com
Don’t miss some of the earlier blogs like a liquor license in a cemetery or an elevator. Check out the cemetery under the Bowmanville pickle farm. Check back often as I need to tell the stories of 273 cemeteries!
Continue reading “Welcome!”
Two great families buried in the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery at Forest Park changed Chicago entertainment forever.
Israel Balaban (1862-1931) a Jewish immigrant arrived in Chicago in 1882 from Odessa Russia along with his wife Augusta “Goldie” Manderbursky (1868-1936). They opened a grocery store and fish shop on Chicago’s famous Maxwell Street. They and their five sons and daughter lived in the back of the store.
By 1910 the family had moved to the west side where two of their five sons, Barney Balaban (1887-1971) the oldest son, and A. J. Balaban (1889-1962) along with partners Sam Katz (1892-1961) and Sam’s father Morris Katz (1869 -1939) became the genius behind the Balaban and Katz chain of palatial “movie palaces “. These wonderful theatres shaped how almost every one of us and our parents sought entertainment and viewed the Hollywood movies. Continue reading “The Golden Era of Chicago Movie Theatres”
Of all the Chicago area cemeteries that I have researched in the last twenty-five years, Jewish Waldheim in Forest Park, a suburb west of Chicago, has proven to be the most fascinating and complex. Whether or not you are Jewish, I promise that this will be a fascinating topic.
The people buried here, for the most part, represent the amazing and touching stories of Jewish emigrants who discovered the old Maxwell Street neighborhood as a gateway to a new world of freedom and unlimited opportunity. Chicago once had the third largest Jewish population of any city in the world. By 1930 there were 300,000 Jews representing 9% of the population. They came primarily from Germany, Poland, Russia and Eastern Europe to seek a better life.
Jewish Waldheim became one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the world, a patchwork of over 260 separate cemeteries within one large complex with different owners, rules, regulations, prices and appearance. There are now over 175,000 burials, possibly approaching 200,000. Continue reading “Over 260 Cemeteries Within ONE Cemetery”
It is a cold but sunny January day in 1885.
I take you to Wells and Kinzie streets on the north side of the Chicago River, We are at the massive Chicago & Milwaukee Railroad depot, later known as the Chicago and Northwestern depot. (It was since replaced by the Merchandise Mart and a new station built at Madison and Clinton). We board train Number Thirty-One, just one of fifty-five daily Northwestern trains. What makes this train very different and special is that it is the daily Northwestern funeral train leaving Chicago every day at 12:30 PM sharp including Sundays bound for two cemeteries. This route dates back to 1857.
Continue reading “New Years 1885 at 12:30 PM”
Chicago area cemeteries are a bit more quiet during the special Christmas season. This is in part because the holidays are centered on activities for the living. Families gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus, shop for gifts and a tree, attend church services and family gatherings. Hanukkah too is also a special family time although under Jewish custom it is not appropriate to mourn on days of celebration and happiness. The holidays are traditionally when all the family gets together, so when we are sitting down for Christmas dinner, we understandably feel the empty space left by the missing person. The cemetery and that departed family member buried there are less visited than other times of the year.
Continue reading “Christmas in the Cemetery”
Today I discovered a great hint of another burial site, possibly my 274th. After 25 plus years of research, this one is new, and leaves one with more questions than answers. I will share what I know.
Continue reading “UPTOWN THEATRE, PLANK ROADS, & AN EFFIGY MOUND”
Join me on a virtual tour of Chicago’s Northside cemetery corridor. It will help you to understand the growth of burial places along Clark Street, a north-south street and one of the oldest roads in the city. It runs parallel to and not far from the shore of Lake Michigan, extending north into Evanston Illinois where it becomes Chicago Avenue. Continue reading “Ten Cemeteries and Wrigley Field”
Here is a cemetery where those buried there deserve better. This is the story of Bachelors Grove, most mentioned for its ghost stories and desecration. However this blog will focus on its history. It is has also been known as: Everdon’s Cemetery, Smith’s Cemetery, Schmidt’s Cemetery, Bachelder’s Grove, Batchelor Grove, Batchelder, Bachlor, Bachellor, and Batchel. It is believed, and I concur, that the “Batchelor Grove” variation is the most historically correct and is the version found on the cemetery plat map in the collections of the Tinley Park Historical Society and the original plat for the Village of Bremen from 1853.
Continue reading “Bachelors Grove – Struggling to survive”