Graceland was established in the 1870's as a replacement for the cemetery in Lincoln Park, which, with it's proximity close to downtown Chicago, was causing people to worry about water contamination and epidemics. Most of the buried were moved to Graceland, in what was then a suburb called Lake View, and soon it became the final resting place for Chicago's rich and powerful elite.
The grounds are laid out beautifully, and we spent several hours looking over the beautiful monuments and stones. I'll save some of it for my next post, there was just so much to see!
Today, I'll focus on the unknown people, who may have been well-known in their day, and maybe wealthy, but are unknown to me, and most are not on the official map you can pick up at the cemetery indicating which graves to visit.
I'll begin with the grave of Dexter Graves, early settler who brought the first colony to Chicago. His grave was moved from the old cemetery. In 1909, famed sculptor Loredo Taft was commissioned to create this monument entitled "Eternal Silence" at his gravesite.
I loved the monuments that depicted natural elements, like trees. I would love to have a monument like this when I die!
The animal monuments were touching, and sad because most were in poor shape.
There were many beautiful ladies, but few angels, as we didn't see any wings.
This tomb was amazing. We loved the snake on the door, the beautiful angel, and the sphinx. Peter Schoenhofen was a brewer with a sense of humor!
Here's a fellow that thought you might want to sit down and take a break.
We saw many monuments with Masonic symbols.
This one was whimsical!
Others were sad.
And some just struck me as beautiful.
Some were pointing toward the heavens.
And some of the structures were very classical and lovely to look at.
Most of the sandstone monuments were in poor shape. I guess it doesn't weather as well as the marble or granite. Now, the edges and inscriptions have been almost obliterated.
I saved the best one for last! This is Inez Clarke, 1873-1880. Her monument is beautifully carved, and is now encased in a plexiglass box for protection. For years, people have wondered about little Inez. There were stories she died tragically, and that her ghost haunts the cemetery. In more recent years, some researchers have claimed that nobody named Inez Clarke is even buried in Graceland. Read about the mystery and what I believe to be the true story of Inez here.
Have a Happy Halloween! Next week, I'll post the more famous and magnificent monuments of Graceland Cemetery!