ROLLER COASTERS BETWEEN TWO CEMETERIES!

For fifteen years the large Forest Park Amusement Park was smack dab adjacent German Waldheim and Concordia Lutheran Cemeteries in Chicago’s western suburb originally called Harlem.

Opened in 1908 at Des Plaines Avenue and West Harrison Street, it was built as an “end of line” amusement park and was served by the Metropolitan West Elevated “L” line, surface line street cars and the Aurora and Elgin interurban rail line. The park, was quite popular, but was a noisy neighbor to the adjoining cemeteries, giving new meaning to the phrase “enough to wake the dead”.

Continue reading “ROLLER COASTERS BETWEEN TWO CEMETERIES!”

From Venice to Mount Carmel Cemetery

Come with me on a late night automobile ride north from downtown Chicago, 21 miles to the quiet suburb of Wheeling. Let’s choose 1924 for our trip, in a spiffy Studebaker touring car. As we drive north on Milwaukee Avenue we bypass a corridor of roadhouses, taverns, mob hangouts, hotels, arriving at 2855 Milwaukee Avenue.Studebaker-1927-PresidentVilla Venice Postcard

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drive through a main gate and enter an extravagant resort called Villa Venice where we will have a seven course dinner, drink adult beverages, watch a Las Vegas style revue, dance until dawn, gamble and ride in authentic Italian gondolas.

But behind all the glitter and glitz is a dark side, that later in this story will end us at the beautiful Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.

Continue reading “From Venice to Mount Carmel Cemetery”

Mac & Cheese and a Farm Cemetery

 

 

Thanksgiving is our special time to give thanks for all we have and enjoy turkey dinner with friends and family. But today I connect that popular blue and yellow box of mac and cheese to the story of a Chicago area cemetery. Continue reading “Mac & Cheese and a Farm Cemetery”

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”

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”

New Years 1885 at 12:30PM

wells_street_station_ca_1910On a cold but sunny day in January 1885,  I take you to Wells and Kinzie streets in Chicago, the then Wells Street depot of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad. The station was sometime referred to as the Kinzie Depot. It was bounded by the Chicago River to the south and west, Kinzie Street to the north and Wells Street to the east.  The station is long gone, replaced by the Chicago and Northwestern Station (Ogilvie Transportation Center)   The Wells Street Station site is now the massive Merchandise Mart built in 1930.

stean Train number 31  was just one of fifty-five daily Northwestern trains.  What made this train different is that it is the daily Northwestern funeral train taking mourners and the deceased to Rosehill or Calvary Cemetery. The train leaves Chicago every day at 12:30 PM sharp, including Sunday north bound for the two cemeteries. Continue reading “New Years 1885 at 12:30PM”