Rosehill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in Chicago, and dates back to 1859.
It’s 350 acres, and it took me almost 3 hours to walk through the majority of it. The Administration Building and Entry Gate were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The cemetery is the final resting place of many notable Chicagoans, including Civil War generals, mayors and early founders of the city. John Shedd, who gave us the Shedd Aquarium has a lovely memorial inside the mausoleum. Also in the mausoleum are Aaron Montgomery Ward and Richard Sears.
Some of the graves at Rosehill were originally located in the City Cemetery in what is now Lincoln Park. In 1869, the city passed control of the cemetery grounds to the Lincoln Park Commissioners, after a doctor began writing papers about the danger of having bodies buried so near the lake, which was the water supply for the city. Many of the 35,000 graves were moved to other cemeteries in the city. However, the 1871 Chicago Fire destroyed almost all of the remaining markers in the cemetery. The only remaining marker is the Couch Memorial, which still exists in the park today. There are estimates that as many as 10,000 bodies may still be buried under Lincoln Park. In 1998, part of the park was excavated for a parking lot for the Chicago History Museum. During that excavation, the remains of 81 individuals were found. Kinda creepy.
Rosehill Cemetery was also a part of a couple of movies, including “Next of Kin” and “US Marshalls”.