Saturday, June 8, 2013

Forest Home Cemetery Tours

Frederick Pabst grave

Visiting a cemetery may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about getting outdoors this weekend, but if you are interested in local history, it can be a lot of fun.  Forest home Cemetery is the place where so many of Milwaukee's famous fathers are buried along with their families.  The cemetery was founded in 1850 on land that used to be a farm.  It is now 200 acres of rolling land with flowering trees, shrubs, and greenspace.  With 150 years of burials, the stones themselves are quite interesting to see.  The most significant people don't necessarily have the grandest burial plots.

You can do a self guided historical tour at any time by downloading the map and the information about the people buried there.  Because it's such a large cemetery, you can drive around the cemetery, park your car, and walk to the well marked lots and find the specific stones.  Or each month, volunteers take visitors on tours of the cemetery, pointing out various graves and telling the stories behind the people who are buried there.  

The schedule of Walk in History tours for this summer:

Sunday, June 9 Beer Barons- Bob Giese guides
Sunday, June 23 Cemetery Art and Symbolism- Paul Haubrich guides

Sunday, July 14  Mayors of Milwaukee- Bob Giese guides
Sunday, July 28  Civil War Veterans- Margaret Berres, Tom Ludka guides

Sunday August 11  Milwaukee History- Paul Haubrich guides
Sunday, August 25  Beer Barons- Bob Giese guides

Saturday, September 15  Famous Milwaukeeans- Bob Giese guides

All tours start at 2:00 pm at the Halls of History.  Phone 414-645-2632 for more information.

The Halls of history should be the starting place for any tour.  It's a building near the entrance and is well marked with that name on the side of the building.  Go downstairs where you can see the photos and stories of many famous Milwaukeeans who are buried there.  You can also find restrooms and drinking fountain there.  If you walk across the street from this building, you will see stairs down to a garden and at the top of the other side is a pretty chapel.  The landscaping throughout the cemetery is well done and maintained.  You can drive over beautiful stone bridges, see a pond and waterfall, and enjoy the flowering trees, which are in bloom right now.

small chapel

Halls of History display

Blatz gravesite

Best gravesite

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