Mt. Greenwood Cemetery-MG20

One of the original features of Mt. Greenwood Cemetery was a picturesque lake. Although the lake is now filled in, the natural beauty of the cemetery, located at 2900 W. 111th St., remains a jewel in an urban landscape. To chronicle the history of the cemetery, Paula K. Everett, local resident and president of the Mt. Greenwood Cemetery Association, and Margaret M. Kapustiak, a local historian and researcher, teamed up to produce the book, “Images of America: Mt. Greenwood Cemetery.” For more information, call (773) 233-0136 or e-mail mtgrnwdcemetery@gmail.com.

When Mt. Greenwood Cemetery was established back in 1879, it was miles from the border of Chicago.

The natural beauty of the woodlands were ideal for a cemetery, and mourners boarded trains to make the trip to bury their loved ones.

Today, 141 years later, Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, 2900 W. 111th St., is surrounded by bustling city, but its pastoral confines and service to families remain the same.

It’s a living part of the history of the city and Mt. Greenwood. Buried there are famous celebrities, tragic victims, and families and leaders from local history.

Mt. Greenwood Cemetery is filled with majestic oak trees, rolling landscapes and impressive monuments, and its history also fills the pages of a book by Arcadia Publishing.

Paula K. Everett, local resident and president of the Mt. Greenwood Cemetery Association, and Margaret M. Kapustiak, a local historian and researcher, teamed up to produce the book, “Images of America: Mt. Greenwood Cemetery.”

Local historical and genealogical societies, universities, companies, and families contributed photographs and historical details for the book. Mt. Greenwood Cemetery contributed items from its own vast archive of photos, documents, promotional materials and news stories collected over more than a century.

The cover of the beautifully-design and written book features cover notes that describe why this local landmark is the perfect topic for a book to delight history lovers.

“Mt. Greenwood Cemetery is an open-air museum that reflects three centuries of history. The Victorian cemetery—with its large, decorative monuments set on a rolling landscape amid winding roads—is an oasis treasured by its neighbors and by families whose loved ones rest there.

“The cemetery is home to educators, artists, veterans, businessmen, social reformers, ministers, and everyday people. The grounds also host heroes who stepped up in a time of need and people who lost their lives in epidemics and horrific disasters.”

Although it is the final resting place for thousands, Mt. Greenwood Cemetery is still full of daily activity as joggers take advantage of its beautiful scenery. People also visit the cemetery for history programs, an annual 5K race and educational programs for students.

The reason the cemetery remains involved in the life of the community is due to the dedication of the Everett Family.

Community involvement is just one aspect of how Mt. Greenwood Cemetery takes care of people. Only the staff’s personal attention for families in mourning takes higher precedence. As a family-owned and managed cemetery, it provides a level of service that is hard to find elsewhere.

In addition to gravesites and burial niches, one of the cemetery’s most unique features is the Cremation Garden and Garden of Remembrance. A symbol of life and vitality, the gardens offer a pleasant experience for remembering loved ones.

The Cremation Garden is designed for families who choose cremation for their loved one. It features a Columbarium to hold the ashes or cremains. It is a free-standing, above-ground granite monument with 72 niches for placement of an urn. Each niche can hold up to two urns.

A Scattering Garden Area is an alternative to placing ashes either in the ground or in the Columbarium. This outdoor area allows the family to scatter the ashes in a designated area. The cemetery will record the name and date of the scattering. Families may also assist in a ceremonial turning of the dirt.

The cemetery’s Garden of Remembrance offers Memorial Brick pavers featuring a loved one’s name for a lasting personal testimony. They are set in a pathway that leads to a serene setting and are a means of appropriately recognizing an important life.

The cemetery offers a 20-percent discount to employees and families of any police or fire department. It offers grave prices at considerably lower prices than other area cemeteries, and its historic chapel is available for memorial services and funerals.

Paula and her staff have also worked on behalf of others through a project to place official U.S. government markers on the graves of Civil War veterans who are buried there. The markers give official notice of the veterans’ historic status, and they provide a lasting tribute to those who fought to preserve the union.

Likewise, the management took on the task of honoring three Chicago Police Department officers who were killed in the line of duty and were buried at the cemetery long ago. However, the graves were never marked as belonging to men killed in the line of duty of protecting Chicago citizens. With the help of the Pipes and Drums of the Chicago Police Department, the graves of Henry A. Mandleco, Paul E. Schutz and George Neil were marked with a permanent police medallion honoring their ultimate sacrifice.

Mt. Greenwood Cemetery is a member of the Mt. Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, and the office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The cemetery gates are open from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. every day.

For more information about Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, call (773) 233-0136 or e-mail mtgrnwdcemetery@gmail.com.