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Welcome!

logofinalmixjpgIf this is your first visit:

Discover great facts and stories about 272 Chicago area cemeteries.   You will be surprised to find where the dead have been  in and around Chicago.

What you can find

803 cemetery listings:.  Thumbnail information of 272 cemeteries,  258 cross references all found in the “list of all cemeteries” pages,as well as over 300 Jewish cemeteries  within other cemeteries, the majority in Jewish Waldheim

The blog posts are my best and most interesting feature stories and topics. Check out “The Architecture of Death”.  Don’t miss some of the earliest blogs like a liquor license in a cemetery or an elevator. They can be found in the archives. Check back often as I have so many more stories to tell .

How do you lose a cemetery!

Barry Fleig was interviewed on Extreme Genes radio by Scott Fisher. paste into your address bar, Turn up your speakers and enjoy :

https://extremegenes.com/2018/05/13/episode-236-lose-a-cemetery-chicago-native-can-help-you-father-and-step-son-make-remarkable-dna-discovery/

Don’t miss this popular post: Why are Cemeteries where they are?

Cook County Cemetery at Dunning,  the incredible story of how we lost and rediscovered  a cemetery containing 38,000 souls. Click on the link at the top of the page for part of the story, but for the whole story, visit www.cookcountycemetery.com 

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

If I can help with your question on a burial location of a  lost relative, understanding a death certificate, or any cemetery question in general, email me and I will be happy to help : Barry A Fleig  bartonius84@hotmail.com

This website is the modern version of a cemetery book research project began about 1988. After visiting hundreds of cemetery sites, libraries, and other resources, I had decided to document all burial places in Chicago and Cook County. So instead of  writing about the just most obvious and large cemeteries,

There is an urgency for us to know and appreciate all of these burial places and their stories. The landscape of Cook County, Illinois is constantly changing, often at the expense of our cemeteries.  Farmland has given way to shopping centers, expressways, toll roads, airports and subdivisions. Neighborhoods, and communities of yesterday have been replaced with new construction, altering our land and disguising our rich history.

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Saint Johannes Lutheran Cemetery within O’Hare International Airport, perceived by the City of Chicago to “be in the way”. The entire cemetery was disinterred and all graves were moved elsewhere.

Please come back to this website often and enjoy!

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

 

 

 

Ghosts of Riverview Park

 

Most are now buried in Chicago area cemeteries, among our own families, and everyday Chicagoans. They are  unusual and memorable people who once walked the midway, riverwalk and bowery of Riverview Amusement Park on Chicago’s North side. Sadly they now exist only in our memories.

Just like real ghosts, they came in and out of our lives almost at will.  Even when they were alive, they could only appear to us after the second Friday of May,   only to disappear in October. Some, but not all, would then would reappear the following May to amuse and entertain us once again. Others not so lucky. So while they walked among us, their only job between July 2, 1904 until the fall of 1967 was to help millions of us Chicagoans enjoy summer days and nights. Continue reading “Ghosts of Riverview Park”

Getting back to writing about what I love

After a long summer of unintended silence on this website, I hope to  again post new and interesting blogs in the coming weeks and months. I start off by reposting the October 8 1871 injustice done to Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, blamed for starting the Chicago Fire. A travesty indeed.

I have so much information and stories to share regarding Chicago and Cook County Cemeteries , those buried within, and related topics. I do apologize for the quiet, but I cannot find enough hours in the day to work on all my genealogy and cemetery projects.

Fell free to browse through my stories that I have published in the last year. Most are timeless and you should find one or more of interest. The story of  lost Cook County Cemetery at Dunning, rediscovered in 1989 is well worth reading. You can find the Chicago Reader feature article by Harold Henderson here:

https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/grave-mistake/Content?oid=874451

While I begin writing new blogs and if you are hitting a brick wall looking for the death or burial of someone in your family (preferable in the Chicago area) I may be able to help find that person. Write me with as much information as you can about the person and I will give it a try as time permits.

My email address is bartonius84@hotmail.com.

I do not charge for my research other than maybe one to two  Oreo Doublestuf cookies.

Happy reading,  Barry Fleigcookie

Grave Mistake-the Story of Cook County Cemetery at Dunning

Cook County Cemetery at Dunning, Chicago, Illinois.

The most unique story of all Chicago area cemeteries. With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, It began as a cemetery for the Cook County institutions at Dunning. These consisted of the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899 .

The cemetery rapidly grew in size and soon evolved as the official county Potters Field for the unclaimed and unwanted dead of Chicago and Cook County. The cemetery received bodies from the Cook County Hospital, the city morgue, many Chicago area hospitals, foundling homes, and many other city social institutions. It was the official cemetery serving the poor and indigent of the Cook County, Illinois from 1854 to well into the 1920’s.

And then it was forgotten. Hidden behind the fences surrounding the Dunning institution, the cemetery, without markers or stones was out of sight and out of mind until March of 1989 when builders attempted to recycle the land into houses and condos.

In May of 1989, Harold Henderson wrote “Grave Mistake” an excellent full length feature article about the beginning months of the struggle to rediscover, understand and fight for this huge forgotten burial place.

Here in Mr. Henderson’s words is the entire text of this well researched and now timeless article,  published in the Chicago Reader on September 22 1989, just as the rediscovery of the cemetery was in it’s first early months. The story would go on for years after this article, and those souls who are buried there  will never again be forgotten.

 

At the very end of this article I will post a series of pictures and maps that will help add some visual understanding to the article.

How did the old county cemetery get in the way of Ridgemoor Estates?

By Harold Henderson Continue reading “Grave Mistake-the Story of Cook County Cemetery at Dunning”

Philip Maxwell, Someone for you to Meet

phillip maxwell portraitHis name was Philip Garrison Maxwell,  born April 3 1799 in Guilford Vermont. He became a physician for the United States Army and was assigned to Fort Dearborn, Chicago, Illinois as an Assistant Surgeon.   From 1844 to 1847, he ran a doctor’s office at the corner of Lake and Clark Streets. But more  about him later.  The famous Chicago Maxwell Street, was named after him.
Continue reading “Philip Maxwell, Someone for you to Meet”

Celebrating the Corner Drug Store

Seems like there was a drugstore in every neighborhood and one or two within easy walking distance of home.

Let me introduce you to Edwin John Sanders,  one of those kindly people that everyone should have had the privilege to know. Edwin was born  March 14, 1882 in Hastings, Adams County, Nebraska, USA,  the son of Adeline Tessier and Herman Sanders. In 1901 he graduated from the Iowa Pharmacy School, Highland Park College inDes Moines, then the Chicago College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1904. Continue reading “Celebrating the Corner Drug Store”

Fond Memories-Walter’s Waterfall

s-l1600 Walter Eugene Olson was born February 18 1884. If you are a real Chicagoan, and a bit old, you might well remember the gift he gave to all of us. It was the  22 acre Olson Park and Waterfall which opened September 27, 1935 on the northwest corner of Diversey and Pulaski (back then Crawford Avenue). in Chicago. factoryHe wanted to “transplant some of the Wisconsin out of doors spirit to the then somewhat drab factory grounds.”

 

ghjhgNext to his massive carpet factory there was this landmark park made of 800 tons of stone,  800 yards of soil, 3,500 perennials,  junipers, spruces, and pines. There were paths with birch railings and foot bridges that allowed visitors to walk across the waterfall, a birch bark canoe, a teepee, a statue of a Native American, and more. There was a rock garden, picnic area, bird sanctuary, a duck pond, ravines and caves. In 1942 there were peacocks, golden pheasants, and even Corriedale sheep! Continue reading “Fond Memories-Walter’s Waterfall”

Rosehill Cemetery Railroad Station

Thank you all for so much interest and response to my earlier post “New Years 1885 at 12:30PM”,  the story about the daily funeral  trains to Rosehill and Calvary Cemeteries on the Northside of Chicago.

If you did not see it, you can hop back to that January 1, 2019 post with this link:

https://chicagoandcookcountycemeteries.com/2018/12/30/new-years-1885-at-1230pm/

 

 

But wait!! There’s more! There is more to share about Rosehill Station Continue reading “Rosehill Cemetery Railroad Station”