My Favorite Cemetery

CEMETERY Add comments

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2I like cemeteries…old cemeteries, not modern ones.  Modern cemeteries are sad and sterile places.  They serve their purpose, but they are not a place to visit outside of paying our respects to the deceased.  However, old cemeteries can be interesting places to visit, trying to find the oldest tombstone at a site.  Some people like to make paper rubbings of old or exceptional tombstones.  There is artistry in the stones and statuary found in older graveyards.  Some cemeteries really are places to visit just for site seeing. 

My favorite cemetery around where I live is Forest Home-German Waldheim Cemetery outside of Chicago.  It was started in the 1876, has 288 acres and nearly 200,000 people are buried there.  A major reason this cemetery is so interesting is because it was the only non-denominational cemetery around Chicago back then.  It was open to any ethnicity and faith, or no faith at all.  Along with local folk both famous and anonymous, buried here are American Indians, masons, gypsies, evangelists, druids, atheists and famed labor activists.  This mixture of beliefs has created a wide variety of fascinating things to see at every turn. 

United Order of Druids

United Order of Druids

Most famous would be the Haymarket Martyr’s Monument that was designated as a Historic Landmark.  It commemorates the workers slain in the Haymarket labor riot in 1886.  Labor activists from around the world come to visit this monument.  The gypsy graves are of special interest as an example of their unique culture.  There is a monument for the United Ancient Order of Druids.  It really is striking and unique, with a druid on a pillar, the ground surrounded by stone circles carved like wood.  Ancient burial grounds were discovered here containing mastodon bones and tusks and the Potawatomi Indians had burial mounds at these grounds.   It is definitely a place to visit if anyone is in the vicinity.

One Response to “My Favorite Cemetery”

  1. Dana Caruthers Norton Says:

    I ran across your site while doing genealogy. I read it all and looked at your pictures. Simply ‘AMAZING’ Really helped me understand the mason and eastern star for most of my family members where members. Keep up the wonderful work. I will be back to see your next project.
    Thank you for your time,
    Dana

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