New Years 1885 at 12:30 PM

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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”

Ten Cemeteries and Wrigley Field

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.clark map Continue reading “Ten Cemeteries and Wrigley Field”

Hoosier Grove Immanuel Cemetery – Early hardworking farming families

chAs 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.stone imm bartlett Continue reading “Hoosier Grove Immanuel Cemetery – Early hardworking farming families”

Leaving a stone at a gravesite

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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”