Fort Dearborn Cemetery

 

(Also known as: Common Burial Ground at Fort Dearborn and Garrison Cemetery)

South Township –     Section: E 1/2 10 Township 39  Range: 14  Circa 1805 – 1835

 

In the summer of 1803, the Schooner Tracy arrived with the building materials and supplies needed to construct the first Fort Dearborn. Another ship brought sixty‑six men and three officers. The fort, finished in late summer, 1803,  also served the early settlers but was destroyed during the massacre of 1812 and was not re-established until 1816.

 

And where ever people gather, deaths begin to occur and a place for the dead need to be established. Fort Dearborn Cemetery can well be considered Chicago’s first cemetery. Very little physical description of Fort Cemetery is known, but we know  the site was not much more than sand, which shifted with the winds off Lake Michigan. It was  difficult if not impossible to maintain the graves against the elements. Markers at best were probably simple wooden  headboards or crosses. Many other graves probably went unmarked.

Continue reading “Fort Dearborn Cemetery”

Meet Rev. Gotthilf J. Lambrecht

Preaching after death

 

preacher

Anyone visiting Montrose Cemetery at 5400 N Pulaski Avenue in Chicago will certainly pass by the most imposing grave of the Reverend Gotthilf J. Lambrecht. Every day, since his death, he appears to continue to steadfastly preach from his granite pulpit, as he did in life. .  His family members are buried in rows in front of the monument much like they would be sitting in front of a pulpit in church, as if listening to his sermon. Continue reading “Meet Rev. Gotthilf J. Lambrecht”

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”

Welcome!

logofinalmixjpgIf this is your first visit:

Discover great facts and stories about 272 Chicago area cemeteries. Many cemeteries have vanished or no longer outwardly resemble a place of burial.   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. Don’t miss some of the earliest 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 have so many more stories to tell about the 272 cemeteries, as well as cemetery related topics. click on the “recent posts” on the right.

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

If you are a returning visitor

Welcome back. I hope you find more blogs and information. Hopefully I will have added since your last visit. I have much to add, limited only by time constraints. If there is a particular topic you wish to see, tell me and I will do my best to post on your request Write me at Bartonius84@hotmail.com

While you were gone, did you miss?  Popcorn Peanuts and Crackerjack

And for all readers

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. Chicago and Cook County continues to reinvent and rebuild, leaving behind a rich history.  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.

Many of our community burying grounds and churchyard cemeteries have been pushed aside, neglected or have vanished altogether, often in the name of “progress”.  Commercial development poses a constant threat to cemeteries that are perceived to be “in the way of progress”. Cemeteries that were once well outside city limits have now found themselves surrounded by urban development. Of the many cemeteries that have managed to survive, weather and vandalism has taken their toll. Under intense geographic and economic pressure, our valuable cemetery history continues to fade, and with it, an important part of our own heritage and culture. I hope that through this website you will discover, learn, and celebrate the city’s history beneath the ground..

Please come back to this website often and enjoy!

I always welcome and appreciate your comments and inquiries.

Please subscribe to receive email updates. Please write me, Barry Fleig at bartonius84@hotmail.com  Thank you!

 

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

 

 

 

Surprises hidden under Chicago Streets

John_Hancock_Center2

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.

 

 

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