Sunday, October 30, 2011

Haunted Cemetery

This weekend, my husband Terry and I decided to go into Chicago to visit the famous Graceland Cemetery. Terry had never been there before, and the last time I went was over 20 years ago.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

I loved the monuments that depicted natural elements, like trees. I would love to have a monument like this when I die!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

The animal monuments were touching, and sad because most were in poor shape.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

There were many beautiful ladies, but few angels, as we didn't see any wings.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

There were some beautiful doors gracing a lot of the tombs.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Here's a fellow that thought you might want to sit down and take a break.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

We saw many monuments with Masonic symbols.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

This one was whimsical!

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Others were sad.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

And some just struck me as beautiful.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Some were pointing toward the heavens.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

And some of the structures were very classical and lovely to look at.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

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.

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

Graceland Cemetery, Chicago

IMG_8451

Have a Happy Halloween! Next week, I'll post the more famous and magnificent monuments of Graceland Cemetery!

24 comments:

Historical Ken said...

Wonderful post. I love old cemeteries and have done many a cemetery walk (http://passionforthepast.blogspot.com/2010/10/cemetery-walk.html).
I'm looking forward the follow up!

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Ken-

Thanks! I had so many photos I took, they wouldn't all fit in just one post! I loved your post about your cemetery walk where you and your daughter participated together.

-Pam

Cass @ That Old House said...

Oh, a great Halloween post! I read the Inez Clarke/Briggs info -- wow you need a scorecard to keep track of who's on first, what's on second with that story!

They are amazing -- those old cemetary monuments. i think the sphinx on the brewer's vault is eyeing that babe on the other side of the door ....
Cass

Richard Cottrell said...

OMG what a wonderful, beautiful,and I am sure peaceful place. People from the past did everything with such style and beauty. Nothing was to good and now we have a stone sunk in the ground so the mowing can be easier. You know why graveyards are so popular, don't you? People are dying to get into them. Happy Halloween and forgive my crudeness. Richard from My Old Historic House.

Ashley said...

Beautiful! My favourite, though, is the door with the thistles. I have a soft spot for them. I bet that family was Scottish!

Liz said...

Cemeteries are such fascinating places - enjoyed the visit!
Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Cass-

Hahaha! You are too funny! That sphinx does have that look in his eye. ;-) The whole Inez story is interesting, for sure. It does make sense, from a genealogy standpoint. I've been away for a long time, and need to catch up with you at That Old House!

-Pam

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Richard-

I enjoy cemetery humor, lol! I always loved the interesting old headstones and monuments from the past. I hope I can have something just as lovely when I kick the bucket!

-Pam

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Ashley-

That is a very pretty door, isn't it? I don't think I photographed the name on that one, but I bet you're right!

-Pam

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Liz-

Thanks for visiting! :-)

-Pam

flowerweaver said...

Wow, these are really neat--thanks for sharing your photos! I enjoy seeing old cemeteries. I think the pioneer cemetery behind our place is pretty interesting:
http://flowerweaver.blogspot.com/2011/02/sunday-stills-old-churches-and.html

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Flowerweaver-

Thanks! Your pioneer cemetery is very cool! I just love looking around older cemeteries... to me it's like going to a museum.

-Pam

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Pam, can see you truly appreciate Old Victorian cemeteries
like I do. Oh so love the huge and beautiful monuments they made back then,
one could not afford one these days I'm sure.
Even the smaller ones are splendid in their beauty and the tenderness of
thought put into them.
I had heard about that little girl before....but I will have to read the story
again you have posted.... to refresh my memory.
THANK you so much for posting these...will look forward to all the
other photo's.
If you ever get to Indianapolis be sure to stop by the Old
Crown Hill Cemetery...it is most Historic as well, not only
for the Victorian portion of the cemetery, but the Civil War burial grounds
too. Hundreds of lovely monuments...many famous people buried there.

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Rose-

Thanks for the tip! I do love visiting cemeteries, especially the older, historic ones. Maybe you remember the story of little Inez when you lived here in Chicago. :-)

-Pam

Sea Witch said...

I have never had the opportunity to visit this lovely place of rest. So glad you posted so many photos. I adore visiting cemeteries and the stories that you can read on the stones. The memorials are amazing. Sea Witch

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Sea Witch-

Most people don't visit the cemeteries when they come to Chicago. Ours aren't as old as some in other parts of the country. I'm glad you enjoyed my photos!

-Pam

The Dusty Victorian said...

Hello Pam,
Fascinating post. Taft is one of my favourite sculptors of the genre. Very touching.
Anyes
XX

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Anyes-

Yes, Lorado Taft did some beautiful works. My next post on Graceland Cemetery will feature another one of his commissioned monuments there!

-Pam

Mrs. D said...

There is always an unexpected (wonderous) look into the past when I go to your website! My goodness Pam, what a great post.

Thank you for taking me on a stroll through Graceland Cemetery to learn about famous Chicagoans! You are so creative.

I want to re-emphasize an invitation to you and your husband to visit me here in Wisconsin at my old Victorian. Nothing would be finer than to meet you in person.

Mrs D.
http//:www.1893victorianfarmhouse.blogspot.com

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Mrs. D-

How sweet, thank you! I'm glad you liked the post, and we'd love to go up to your 1893 Victorian Famhouse to visit you one of these days! Your house is so beautiful, as are you, and it would be exciting to meet in person. Maybe we can plan it in the Spring. Great idea! :-)

-Pam

Pam said...

The monuments look so much like some of the ones in Columbus's oldest cemetery. It is from the same era and it came to be when they moved the burial of people from downtown to the outskirts of town also. I like that they plexiglassed the girl's monument. I feel bad when I see some of the stones deteriorated. They should last forever.

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi Pam-

How interesting that Columbus's cemetery has a similar history! I would love to see it someday. I don't know how the plexiglass came about, but I'm sure glad it's there, too. A few years back, someone took an axe to the plexiglass, but thankfully didn't penetrate it and ruin the monument!

-Pam

wsidejack said...

Pam:

I enjoyed your piece on Graceland. Thanks for linking the section on the Inez Clarke/Briggs grave to my article with Bill Willard on the subject.

Best,

John Binder

Pam of Eastlake Victorian said...

Hi John,

There was so much misinformation out there on Inez Clarke/Briggs, it was hard to find the truth. When I read your story, it all made perfect sense. Poor spelling, misunderstandings, past marriages and dead children... you come across it all so often when doing genealogical research. I'm glad you uncovered the truth about Inez, and put the mystery to rest. Thanks for putting that information out there.

-Pam

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