Graceland Cemetery Tour On Sunday

By Mike Fourcher | Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Carrie Eliza Getty Tomb in Graceland Cemetery, designed by Louis Sullivan. Credit: Flickr/fitzgene

It’s an odd fact that some of Chicago’s best architecture and sculpture is in a cemetery. This Sunday, at 1:00 p.m., for $10 you’ll have a chance to get a guided tour of Graceland Cemetery, at Clark Street and Irving Park Rd., where some of Chicago’s most powerful and notable gilded age robber barons are buried, including Marshall Field, George Pullman, and Allan Pinkerton.

The tours are led by Patrick Butler, from the Ravenswood/Lake View Historical Association.

A press release announcing the tour is below:

The secrets of one of Chicago’s most storied graveyards  – such as which philanthropist is buried in a keg of brandy and which 19th century “robber baron”  was so unpopular at the time of his death his family and business associates had him interred under tons of concrete, steel rails and wooden track ties -  will be unveiled during a two-hour tour of Graceland Cemetery, 4001 N. Clark, 1:15 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23.

The two-hour walking tour will include stops at the gravesites of Carter Harrison I, a Chicago mayor assassinated at the close of the 1893 Columbian Exposition; Allan Pinkerton, an abolitionist detective turned union-buster; and U.S. Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller, the highest federal official other than President Abraham Lincoln buried in Illinois.

Graceland, founded in 1860 has been called the the Second Valley of the Kings because it’s the permanent home of so many civic, political and cultural figures who played major roles in the growth of the city and the nation.

Included are Conrad Sulzer, first permanent white settler of what became Lake View Township; early land speculator and hotel operator Dexter Graves, whose burial site is marked by Lorado Taft’s “Eternal Silence,” an iconic symbol of Graceland; and Lorenz Brentano, the only member of Congress to have previously served as president of a foreign country.

The tour guide will be Patrick Butler,  RLVHA president and longtime reporter for the North Side’s Booster and News-Star newspapers.

The tour group will begin meeting inside the cemetery’s main gate at Irving and Clark starting at 1 p.m.

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  • Bill King

    I took that tour about 10 years ago and it is easily one of the coolest things to do in Chicago. You won’t believe who and what is in that graveyard.

    • Anonymous

      I did the tour a while back too. Definitely one of the better things to do on a fall day in Chicago.

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