This is a new and exciting work in progress with new content added weekly
Welcome to a website filled with 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 273 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.
FLASH NEWS BULLETIN: Thank you all for your support. In just two weeks since October 1st, there has been over 6000 views!
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.
Continue reading “Welcome!”
Grandpa and Grandma can be buried in the same exact cemetery plot and in the same cemetery and yet be in two different Illinois counties.
Impossible you say. Ask any ten people in the area where the St Mary’s Catholic Church (Buffalo Grove) cemetery is located and they will tell you “The church and cemetery is in Lake County of course, north of Lake-Cook Road on Buffalo Grove Road in Lake County” And they will boldly emphasize “Lake-Cook Road” as their proof positive. Well, they are only half right. The Cook County-Lake county boundary line actually (and rudely) cuts right through the cemetery, east to west. Half the cemetery is in Vernon Township-Lake County and the other half of the cemetery is in Wheeling Township-Cook County. How can this be you ask, when the cemetery is clearly NORTH of Lake-Cook Road, named after the dividing line between the two counties.
Continue reading “Same Churchyard – Two Counties!”
As much as I would like to concentrate on the larger and popular cemeteries in the Chicago area, there are so many wonderful and smaller burial grounds within Chicago and Cook county that deserve to be celebrated. Some are the cemeteries of our early settlers, who worked hard to farm the land and milk the cows, go to church, and quietly raise family. These cemeteries may not have unusual or headline grabbing stories, but they are so important to the fabric of our local history. So this blog describes the quiet Immanuel United Church Cemetery better known back in the day as Hoosier’s Grove Immanuel Cemetery, now within Streamwood. Continue reading “Hoosier Grove Immanuel Cemetery – Early hardworking farming families”
There is much discussion as to how (or if) a cemetery can be used for other than burials. Some consider it sacred ground and say that nothing other than visitation is appropriate. Others take a wider view, saying that a cemetery is a place where history can be celebrated with cemetery tours and reenactments of historical figures.
Graceland hosts many popular tours. And still others, including some Chicago area cemeteries, encourage the above to be shared actively by the living. Lets look at the wide range of ideas: Continue reading “Can a Cemetery co-exist with the living?”
“If we get separated while walking through the cemetery, meet me at Highland Avenue and Main Avenue”.
Yes, streets, roads, and avenues actually have names in some cemeteries. I would guess that this topic may not have been often mentioned before. I was fascinated by seeing actual street signs in Jewish Waldheim. I am not sure how many of the larger cemeteries name their streets, but I would like to know more. The two Chicago area cemeteries are Graceland on Chicago’s north side and Jewish Waldheim in Forest Park.
If you are into giving trivia questions, one or more of these street names are sure to be tough to guess. As a side note, St. Adalbert’s Catholic Cemetery has a city street (Newark) bisecting it. And All Saint’s Catholic Cemetery has two sections, on both sides of River Road.
In order to be politically correct, I have omitted signs like “Dead End” or “One Way- Do not Enter”’ Addition and comments welcome! Continue reading “Cemetery Street Names”
Cemeteries command little respect when the “powers that be” want to build or expand an airport. Our departed ancestors are simply “in the way” when we focus on aeronautical progress. The classic and most recent case was the destruction of St. Johannes Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery on the west end of O’Hare International Airport, until a few years ago, at the foot of runway 9-R. There, some 1,400 people and five acres of cemetery of the St. John United Church of Christ in Bensenville, were dug up to expand the “the world’s busiest airport.” Another nearby cemetery, Resthaven, clings to existence.
But this story is about a third, least known cemetery over there by runway 32-R, on the far eastern edge of the airport. It was the first to be removed in the name of progress. Lets look at Wilmer’s Old Settler Cemetery also known as the cemetery for the Evangelical Zions Society of Leyden Township. Continue reading “The third and least known cemetery in O’Hare Airport”
The Jewish faith, as well as some others, have a wonderful and thoughtful custom of leaving a small stone on the grave. Placing a stone on the grave is an act of remembrance and serves as a sign to others that someone has visited the grave. It also enables visitors to honor the burial and the deceased.
Why stones you ask? Stones are lasting and fitting symbols of the lasting presence of the deceased’s life and memory. Why not Flowers? Flowers are a good metaphor for life. Life withers; it fades like a flower. For that reason, flowers are an apt symbol of passing, but while flowers may be a good metaphor for the brevity of life, stones seem better suited to the permanence of memory. Stones do not die. Continue reading “Leaving a stone at a gravesite”
One of the most unusual buildings in a Chicago area cemetery is one that consists of just an elevator. It is a beautiful structure with stained glass windows and could easily be thought of as a small chapel. The questions most often asked are where and why. Continue reading “An Elevator in a Cemetery!”