Buried under a huge pickle farm

For one of our first blogs featuring a cemetery, we offer one not found in any of the guidebooks.

portraitaaaMeet Lyman Budlong (1829-1909) a remarkable pioneer in the pickle industry, who built a massive farm of 700 acres in Bowmanville, now just a neighborhood on Chicago’s north side centered about Lincoln and Foster. Budlong aerialaaaHe grew tomatoes, onions, carrots, and lettuce but his huge money crop was cucumbers which he processed into one of the largest supplier of premium pickles. In later years he changed to flower growing in a huge number of greenhouses. And he discovered graves on his property! Continue reading “Buried under a huge pickle farm”

About the author



DSCN0090aA resident for over fifty years, Barry A. Fleig is a devoted fan of all things Chicago. The streets, the maps, the buildings and the places for the dead. He has been a recognized authority on burying grounds, cemeteries, and burial sites with an emphasis on vanished cemeteries specializing in Chicago,  Cook county,  Lake and DuPage Counties. 

His interest in cemeteries  began in 1967 when he began researching his own family history.  

For three years, he served on the Board of Management for the Chicago Genealogical Society, as their Cemetery Chairman.  He has been the Vice-Chairman of the Association for the Ethical Protection of Burial Sites. 

Mr. Fleig has aided in the identification and preservation of Russell Cemetery near Techny in Northfield Township, Cook County. His most significant accomplishment was the rediscovery, identification and research of a forgotten cemetery on Chicago’s northwest side. Mr. Fleig uncovered records and maps documenting the burial of over 38,000 bodies within twenty-seven acres of a 320 acre County Farm. The burials were made in Cook County Cemetery at Jefferson (Dunning) on property later known as the Chicago State hospital on Chicago’s northwest side.  The whole story and a searchable database can be found at http://www.cookcountycemetery.com

Continue reading “About the author”


This is a new and exciting work in progress with new content added often


logofinalmixjpgDiscover 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 over 300 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.


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

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

And for the incredible story of how we lost that cemetery containing 38,000 souls, visit www.cookcountycemetery.com

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. Check back often as I need to tell the stories of 273 cemeteries!



Continue reading “Welcome!”

Surprises hidden under Chicago Streets


Did you know the John Hancock building is built upon the site of an early burying ground?  The North Side Cemetery, surveyed in 1835, included a portion of prime North Michigan Avenue real estate including the Hancock Building and Water Tower Place.

As early as 1897, the Chicago Tribune printed an article entitled:

 “City built on Graves – Chicago buildings stand upon sites of old cemeteries…the structures of the downtown district cover unnumbered dead.”    And on October 7, 1900 the Chicago Tribune printed the story “Forgotten Graveyards of Chicago – Beautiful Homes built over the tombs of departed Pioneers”

How about a saloon license issued to a cemetery? An elevator in a cemetery? These and many more surprises await you in upcoming blogs.