Rosehill Cemetery

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Rosehill Cemetery Administration Building and Entry Gate
Main entrance of Rosehill Cemetery
Rosehill Cemetery is located in Illinois
Rosehill Cemetery
Location 5800 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°59′13″N 87°40′45″W / 41.98694°N 87.67917°W / 41.98694; -87.67917Coordinates: 41°59′13″N 87°40′45″W / 41.98694°N 87.67917°W / 41.98694; -87.67917
Area 141 ha (350 acres)
Built 1864
Architect William W. Boyington
Architectural style Other
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 75000651
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 24, 1975[1]
Designated CL October 16, 1980

Rosehill Cemetery is a Victorian era cemetery on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois, USA, and at 350 acres (1.4 km2), is the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago. 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.[2]

Rosehill's Joliet-limestone entrance gate 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.[1]

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.[3]

Several graves from the old City Cemetery, originally located in what is now Lincoln Park were relocated to Rosehill. Some of the gravestones and monuments were also moved to Rosehill Cemetery and can be seen.

Rosehill Mausoleum[edit]

Dedicated in 1914, Rosehill Mausoleum was designed by architect Sidney Lovell. It is the largest mausoleum in Chicago and has two levels, the lower level being partially underground. The interior is constructed almost entirely of marble. The floors are Italian Carrara marble. There are many small family-owned rooms with heavy bronze gates. Some of these private rooms feature stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany among other artists. Richard B. Ogilvie, Governor of Illinois, is entombed near the ceiling in the west part of the Mausoleum. Other notables include Aaron Montgomery Ward and his business rival Richard Warren Sears.

Civil War Memorials[edit]

Civil War buffs have long been attracted to Rosehill, where approximately 350 Union soldiers and sailors and at least three Confederates who gave their lives in service are entombed. It is the final resting place for several members of the 8th Illinois Cavalry, the unit that fired the first shots in the Battle of Gettysburg, and of a general whose troops helped Ulysses S. Grant avoid surrender in the Battle of Shiloh, Grant’s first major engagement of the war. Rosehill Cemetery maintains the distinction of being the largest private burial ground of Union veterans, including 16 generals, in the state of Illinois. To honor those who fought for country and cause, Rosehill officially opened its own Civil War Museum on January 15, 1995. Devoted exclusively to the Civil War, it is the only museum of its kind in the country.

Chicago Volunteer Firefighter's Memorial[edit]

A monument "To Honor All the Courageous Volunteer Firefighters of Chicago" was erected in Rosehill Cemetery in 1864. The monument, designed by Leonard Volk, features a vigilant fireman standing atop a tall column. A fire hose is wrapped around the base. Four old-style hydrants make up the corners of the memorial. The granite marker at the base contains the names of all firefighters killed in the line of duty.

In film[edit]

Rosehill was featured in the film Next of Kin. The funeral scene in "Backdraft (film)" takes place at the Volunteer Firefighter's Monument at Rosehill, but was actually filmed elsewhere using a replica of this monument. Lulu Fellowes (the girl in the glass box) also appeared in the film U.S. Marshals (film).

Fireside Restaurant & Lounge[edit]

The roadhouse now known as the Fireside Restaurant & Lounge has stood across from historic Rosehill Cemetery for more than a century. It is one of the oldest continuously operating taverns in Chicago. The original tavern once served traveling farmers and mourners alike, even offering accommodations.

West Ridge Nature Preserve[edit]

Chicago Park District Park No. 568 - West Ridge Nature Preserve - is located along the north western edge of Rosehill Cemetery. The park land, which was once part of the cemetery, features 20.585 acres of restored woodland, native plants, boardwalks, a 4.5 acre pond, a multipurpose trail around the park with elevated overlooks, educational and interpretive signage for easy identification of plantings, fishing stations and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Notable burials[edit]

Monument to the Confederate dead (early 20th-century postcard)


  1. ^ a b Staff (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Revisiting Roe's Hill and Our Shoreline". 
  3. ^ Matt Hucke (2010). "Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum: Lulu Fellows". Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  4. ^ "Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum: Darius Miller". Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Curse of King Tut". Gravely Speaking. January 9, 2013. Retrieved November 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Thomas Edwin Greenfield Ransom". Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  7. ^ "Ira G. Rawn, 20 Jul 1910". FamilySearch. "Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878–1922," index. Retrieved November 22, 2013. 

External links[edit]