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.

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

DSCN0090aThe blog posts

contain my best and most interesting feature stories. Most will be about the Chicago area, Chicago area cemeteries, people you should know, historical events or simply strange.

Don’t miss! I’m the kid behind the birdcage.

Growing up in Chicago in the 1950’s

or Lane Tech High School

Three LANE Schools over a Clay Pit

new lane 1930 tech prep

Read about Funeral trains serving the Cemeteries

Funeral Streetcars

Check out  The Architecture of Death


Don’t miss this just updated story (july 2022)

 Liquor License in a Cemetery?

or some other popular ones An Elevator in a Cemetery! or  The Battered Helmet


or even the very weird story   Burial Cards: John’s left foot

There are more than 100 stories in  the archives. Check back often as I have so many more stories to tell .

Don’t miss these most popular posts


“Absolutely fireproof” –A human Tragedy  Iroquois Theatre Fire December 30 1903


61 years ago -December 1, 1958      Our Lady of Angels school fire


When Chicago Cried     The Eastland disaster

studio 6 nice 1910

Ghosts of Riverview Park 

Don’t miss these useful posts

Finding your Uncle Louie 

how to find one of your missing relatives

Why are Cemeteries where they are?

Cook County Cemetery at Dunning

Diagram showing where bodies have been found. #1 is generally the “old grounds”. #14 is the “new grounds” opened 1890

Grave Mistake-the Story of Cook County Cemetery at Dunning   link to blog

the incredible story of how we lost and rediscovered

a cemetery containing 38,000 souls.

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=874451grave mistake

If I can help you

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

More often than not, my fee is cookie

write me

Barry A Fleig  bartonius84@hotmail.com

About this website

This  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.


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!


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 :


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

the Chicago typewriter – February 14, 1929

Today, your computer keyboard uses the QWERTY system, (the first six letters on the top line of your keyboard). It is a carryover from the mechanical typewriter that most of us older folk remember.  The first commercially successful typewriter was invented and patented by four Milwaukee Wisconsin men in 1868 . It was produced by E. Remington and sons.

The “Chicago typewriter” however was quite different, something never needing paper or an ink ribbon . Its use on Valentine’s Day February 14, 1929 is legend. It. Like a mechanical typewriter, it was well used to send a message. The Chicago typewriter is a slang term for the Thompson submachine gun which from a distance sound somewhat like a typewriter.

Continue reading “the Chicago typewriter – February 14, 1929”

Music in the trolley barn – February 5, 1971

North Chicago Street Railway Car #8, built 1859

Horsecars, cable cars and streetcars needed a place to sleep at night. They had been called trolley barns, car barns, car houses or more recently bus barns. Some are still around in Chicago, but many of the early structures are long gone or have been repurposed.

One such “trolley barn” was a modest brick building at 329 Lincoln Ave. on Chicago’s North side. About 1909, Chicago renumbered all streets, so 329 Lincoln became 2356 N. Lincoln.

This building housed horse-drawn street cars owned by the North Chicago Street Railway Co. serving both the Fullerton and Lincoln Avenue lines and possibly others. The first horsecar line in Chicago opened on State Street in 1859, replacing the even earlier horse-drawn omnibuses. One of the benefits of the horse drawn streetcars was the use of fixed rails in the streets, enabling the horsecars to travel slightly faster and providing the passengers with a somewhat smoother ride. Horse-drawn streetcars also predated the short era of cable cars in Chicago which ended in 1906 only to be replaced by electric streetcars.

After its life as a “trolley barn” it had several later tenants. In 1916 it was home to the 1st Battalion Engineers and the Battery Field Artillery of the National Guard. In 1921 trucks were being sold out of that location. Rent in 1926 was only $125. it was used as a warehouse, the Steiner furniture store circa 1952 and the Bargain Center warehouse.

And finally in about 1969 the old trolley barn was converted to a theater.

And as Paul Harvey would say “and now for the rest of the story”

2356 N. Lincoln began became the Kingston Mines theater one of the first theater companies to be part of the storefront theater scene along Lincoln Ave., Halsted, and other nearby Northside streets. It was named after an actual town of Kingston Mines Illinois in central Illinois.

On February 5, 1971, in that old trolley barn, the Kingston Mines Theater Company premiered a play written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The play was Grease!

Continue reading “Music in the trolley barn – February 5, 1971”

Mr. Ofstie may have sold you a car!

He was born Burton Adolph Ofstie on January 30, 1911 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of Rev. Hans Adolf Ofstie (1881-1977) a Methodist pastor and Lena Peterson (1889 –1981) 

We knew him well by his trademark “Linn Burton for Certain”and his very plaid suits.  

He is still remembered for his commercials for Bert Weinman Ford.” Chicago’s number 1 Ford dealer”. He was “Your TV Ford Man” selling cars for over 25 years between 1964 and 1989 on WGN-TV in Chicago. Linn Burton had a great radio voice and personality.  Hewould urge us viewers to “Buy now and save” at  “3535 North on Ashland Avenue”.

Many people didn’t know that he was only a spokesman and never a salesman for Bert Weinman Ford. In fact, it was not uncommon for a prospective car buyer to come into the dealership and ask for Linn Burton! He actually did his work in the WGN TV studio with a specially revolving floor where the cars slowly turned under the bright lights..His commercials were incredibly effective. In addition to that great voice, he had believability. He wasn’t slick or crafty. It was just Linn simply selling cars. And he was just really good at it!

Continue reading “Mr. Ofstie may have sold you a car!”

Elin Felt: Someone you should know

Many people live ordinary lives never achieving fame or fortune, but nevertheless would accomplish much in their lives or simply excel in their field. These people deserve recognition.

I would not be writing this blog today without the influence of just one person Who fit this description.

Elin Felt spent her entire career teaching English, most of her years were at Lane technical high school on Chicago’s North Side.

Elin Marie Louise Felt was born in Chicago on October 4, 1904, one of six children, the daughter of Charles John Felt (1864 – 1943 ) who was born in Ostergstland Sweden, immigrated to the United States and was a grocer in Chicago at 1918 Winnemac. Her mother was Ellen C. Larson (1866-1955)

Ellen had four sisters and one brother.

Elin was baptized March 12, 1905 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Chicago. She attended both Augustana College in Rock Island Illinois (circa 1923) and the Chicago Normal College (circa 1926)

Never married, her entire life was all about teaching English. By 1930 she was teaching for the Chicago Board of Education.

In 1949 she was on the faculty of Marshall high school.

Between 1951 and 1970 she was in the English department at Lane technical high school in Chicago’s North Side. In her career lasting at least 40 years I estimate that she might have taught as many as 1200 students.

Lane Tech 1951

And at Lane Tech is where I knew her, she was my wonderful English teacher at Lane. Quiet, small in stature, never heavy-handed, always smiling, a personality that just earned and deserved respect.

Lane 1964

She left such a positive impression on me that I did not fully grasp at the time.

But if you really want to know the truth,  English class was not that all that important to me at the time, but was simply a necessary class stuck between drafting, shops and the lunchroom.Why would I know what a participle was, or how to diagram a sentence? I was much more interested in operating a South Bend lathe or a Bridgeport Milling machine.

Lane 1966

But what I didn’t realize was that she taught the important foundation for writing. She taught us to choose our subject wisely, use index cards to gather major thoughts and do quality research before beginning to put words to paper.

For my semester project I chose of all things to write about, the hydraulically operated concrete barriers that were in the middle of Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive. Raising and lowering them on Lakeshore Drive afforded what we know of today as reversible lanes. In order to research the subject, I read through traffic management magazines at the downtown library. I am not sure whether Miss Felt had much knowledge about hydraulic lane delineators but gave me an “A” for my work.

I have not found too much about her personal life other than she lived at 1918 W. Winnemac and later in Chicago’s Sauganash neighborhood. She did travel a bit. I do remember that she thought that the two most beautiful words in the English language were “cellar door”. Go figure.


Elin felt died December 7, 1996 at the age 92 in the Swedish covenant convalescent home near Foster and California. Her funeral was Immanuel Lutheran Church 1500 W. Elmdale. She is buried at Graceland Cemetery among her parents and siblings.

If you had Miss Felt for English at Lane tech high school, please tell me what you remember. If not, please share your memories of an outstanding teacher that you remember in the comments below. You will receive bonus points if that teacher was at Lane Tech. You also can just email me at bartonius84@hotmail.com

And for another great story about Lane tech high school please click the link:

Three LANE Schools over a Clay Pit – Chicago and Cook County Cemeteries