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Rosehill Cemetery, Chicago

#22 of 34 in Historic Sites in Chicago
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Rosehill Cemetery (founded 1859) is an American urban cemetery on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois, and at 350 acres (1.4 km2), is the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago. According to legend, the name "Rosehill" resulted from a City Clerk's error – the area was previously called "Roe's Hill", named for nearby farmer Hiram Roe. He refused to sell his land to the city until it was promised that the cemetery be named in his honor. It is located in the north east section of the Lincoln Square community area.

Rosehill's Joliet-limestone entrance gate (added in 1864) was designed by William W. Boyington, the architect of the Chicago Water Tower and the Old University of Chicago, who is buried in Rosehill. The Rosehill Cemetery Administration Building and Entry Gate was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Like its sister cemetery Graceland, Rosehill is the burial place of many well-known Chicagoans. The cemetery contains many monuments that are notable for their beauty and eccentricity, such as that of Lulu Fellows.
The cemetery is also the final resting place of 61 victims of the Iroquois Theatre fire, in which over 600 people died.
Several graves, gravestones and monuments from the old City Cemetery, originally located in what is now Lincoln Park were relocated to Rosehill Cemetery.

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Rosehill Cemetery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
38 reviews
  • Armed with my trusty AIA Guide to Chicago (3rd ed.) which contained a map of the cemetery and describes some of the noteworthy monuments, 2 of us took a walk-through on a pleasant autumn weekday...  more »
  • A beautiful cemetery and a site for excellent programs in the arts, including musical events in the Horatio N. May chapel. The staff are welcoming and friendly and go beyond all expectations with...  more »
  • I visited Rose Hill on Friday, June 14, 2019, in order to complete a future arrangement for a relative, and want to most highly praise the work of Julie Moore, Julio and Erica. Julie kindly, patiently and expertly helped me make plans on the phone in the course of several conversations over many weeks. Incredibly, she always instantly remembered everything we'd previously discussed, and could not have been more generous with her knowledge and counsel. On Friday, again, Julie was as kind, patient, generous and good-natured as a person could be, as we completed the contracts. In the midst of everything, Julie researched the locations at the cemetery of some other relatives I wished to visit, even though this task ordinarily would have fallen to someone else and might have taken hours to complete! In the course of completing the contracts, we ran into a trivial computer glitch which the software wouldn't permit Julie to overcome--but Erica, the office manager, most graciously dropped everything to come and help resolve the difficulty. Like Julie, Erica was as kindly, warm and good-natured as can be. Late in the afternoon, the Mausoleum was about to close, yet Julie drove me there across the grounds and arranged for Julio, a Rose Hill employee for 20 years and a most agreeable, warm and friendly gentleman, to accompany me to several widely separated sites in the enormous mausoleum. Julio led me around and was wonderfully helpful to me, making a special, long trip to collect water for a niche-side vase, and sharing light from his phone to make photos possible in a dark room. Although it was time for Julio to lock up and to leave for the day, he kindly and happily drove me to the outdoor grave site of two other relatives and helped me find their graves. Julio even apologized for not having tools with him to set one of the more-than-sixty-years-old headstones in more perfect alignment with the other! Then Julio agreed to take me to the brand new Garden of Serenity where I had just purchased space, patiently helped me explore the garden and waited as I took photos. And then, after all, Julio went out of his way to drive me to the most convenient exit from the cemetery! I couldn't have been offered more wonderful courtesies than I received Friday afternoon at Rose Hill. The visit was extremely satisfying to me, with many pleasures, and my pride that seven of my very closest relatives are resting there, with another just now having planned to follow them, was refreshed and renewed. My great thanks to Julie, Julio and Erica!
  • Dignity needs to be more respectful of families searching their ancestors burial plots. They wouldn't help me until I told them I had death certificates that said they were buried at Rosehill. It finally took a call to the manager. I fail to understand whose privacy they are protecting, the deceased or theirs. I was told there are no pictures allowed and there are signs posted everywhere, hand written. The plots are sold and the deceased are the owners, they are simply the care takers. Graceland couldn't have been more helpful even offering to go with us if we had trouble finding our ancestor. Dignity needs to take note. Researching family history is difficult you make it more difficult. Please explain your no picture policy and your vigilant enforcement of it.

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