Chicago area cemeteries are a bit more quiet during the special Christmas season. This is in part because the holidays are centered on activities for the living. Families gather to celebrate the birth of Jesus, shop for gifts and a tree, attend church services and family gatherings. Hanukkah too is also a special family time although under Jewish custom it is not appropriate to mourn on days of celebration and happiness. The holidays are traditionally when all the family gets together, so when we are sitting down for Christmas dinner, we understandably feel the empty space left by the missing person. The cemetery and that departed family member buried there are less visited than other times of the year.
Today I discovered a great hint of another burial site, possibly my 274th. After 25 plus years of research, this one is new, and leaves one with more questions than answers. I will share what I know.
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. Continue reading “Ten Cemeteries and Wrigley Field”
Here is a cemetery where those buried there deserve better. This is the story of Bachelors Grove, most mentioned for its ghost stories and desecration. However this blog will focus on its history. It is has also been known as: Everdon’s Cemetery, Smith’s Cemetery, Schmidt’s Cemetery, Bachelder’s Grove, Batchelor Grove, Batchelder, Bachlor, Bachellor, and Batchel. It is believed, and I concur, that the “Batchelor Grove” variation is the most historically correct and is the version found on the cemetery plat map in the collections of the Tinley Park Historical Society and the original plat for the Village of Bremen from 1853.
Halloween is upon us. I am not at all a fan of ghosts, especially the hitchhiker stories that come up every year at this time. In the Chicago area, most of us know “Resurrection Mary” from Resurrection Cemetery in Justice. But as the television commercial goes: “but wait, there’s more! There is “Melody Millie” who supposedly visits Forest Home/Waldheim Cemetery in Forest Park and the “Flapper Girl” supposedly around Jewish Waldheim and the Phantom girl at Woodlawn Cemetery. It turns out that the hitchhiker story repeats itself all over the country, in cemeteries from coast to coast.
But bowing to the season, I will breathe life into these ghosts for just one solitary blog, and then I will put them all to bed while I write about the more factual cemetery stories. Maybe this topic will inspire people to take a more serious interest in real cemetery issues. I prefer to concentrate on the history and preservation of cemeteries, the genealogical benefits, and the moral value of honoring those who have come before us. I say many times that cemeteries tell us who we were.
The hitchhiking ghost has been a staple of American folklore for many generations. Usually the hitchhiker is female and quite beautiful and her destination is invariably the cemetery. So which one is the real hitchhiker? Well, take your pick. Here are just a few on my dance card.
Grandpa and Grandma can be buried in the same exact cemetery plot and in the same cemetery and yet be in two different Illinois counties.
Impossible you say. Ask any ten people in the area where the St Mary’s Catholic Church (Buffalo Grove) cemetery is located and they will tell you “The church and cemetery is in Lake County of course, north of Lake-Cook Road on Buffalo Grove Road in Lake County” And they will boldly emphasize “Lake-Cook Road” as their proof positive. Well, they are only half right. The Cook County-Lake county boundary line actually (and rudely) cuts right through the cemetery, east to west. Half the cemetery is in Vernon Township-Lake County and the other half of the cemetery is in Wheeling Township-Cook County. How can this be you ask, when the cemetery is clearly NORTH of Lake-Cook Road, named after the dividing line between the two counties.
As 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. Continue reading “Hoosier Grove Immanuel Cemetery – Early hardworking farming families”