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Graveyards of Chicago: The People, History, Art, and Lore of Cook County Cemeteries Paperback – November 9, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Claremont Press; 1st edition (November 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0964242648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0964242647
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,383,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Hucke is the creator of the website Graveyards of Chicago, which has thousands of photographs from Chicagoland cemeteries and is the inspiration for the book of the same name. Ursula Bielski is Chicago’s resident paranormal expert, a historian, an author, and an entrepreneur. She owns the tour company Chicago Hauntings, Inc., produces the annual Chicago Ghost Conference, and hosts the WYCC TV show The Hauntings of Chicago. She is the author of Chicago Haunts, Creepy Chicago, More Chicago Haunts, and There’s Something Under the Bed.

Ursula Bielski, Local Historian and Author

Ursula Bielski grew up in a haunted house on Chicagos north side. At an early age she became a believer in paranormal experiences, from the curse of the Chicago Cubs at nearby Wrigley Field to the hauntings at local Graceland Cemetery by a 19th century ghost girl. Underscoring these neighborhood folk tales were accounts by her police officer father of personal encounters with Big Foot and no less than the Devil himself.

As an undergraduate at Benedictine University, Bielski was able to explore the interplay of belief and experience, focusing her coursework on the relationship between science and religion. Outside the classroom she tagged along with psychology students investigating reported cases of haunting phenomena which took her to such notorious sites as the Country House Restaurant in suburban Clarendon Hills; Chicagos Red Lion Pub; and the Oshkosh Opera House (Wisconsin). Her fascination with the methodology and philosophy of psi research led her to more structured work in the field of parapsychology.

As a graduate student at Northeastern Illinois University, Bielski explored related aspects of American intellectual and cultural history, particularly the spiritualist movement of the 19th century and its transformation into psychical research and parapsychology. As a student affiliate of the Parapsychological Association, an international body dedicated to psi research, Bielski was a frequent contributor to the group's bulletin.

Intrigued by the apparent relationship between folklore and paranormal experience, Bielski eventually turned her interests toward her hometown, penning her acclaimed and widely successful book, Chicago Haunts. After several printings of the book and the release of a second edition, Bielski now lectures regularly on the subject, having emerged as an expert on Chicagos spiritual netherworld.

Bielski is editor of PA News, the quarterly bulletin of the Parapsychology Association. She is currently at work on a childrens cookbook inspired by the gothic novels of John Bellairs as well as a second volume about Chicago ghostlore: More Chicago Haunts. She lives in Chicago with her husband, author David Cowan, and their daughter.

Matt Hucke, Cemetery Connoisseur and Photographer

Matt Hucke, a native of southern Illinois, has resided in Chicago since 1993 and has been exploring its fascinating graveyards since 1995. His first expedition to Graceland Cemetery on the citys north side was prompted by a city guidebook describing some of the incredible mausoleums to be found there. This was followed by an expedition to the abandoned and allegedly haunted Bachelors Grove Cemetery in the southwest suburbs, and a lengthly exploration of Rosehill Cemetery on the far north side. Such trips soon became a weekly event, and Matt has now visited over 120 Chicagoland cemeteries, the vast majority of them in Cook County.

In August 1996, Hucke created the Web site that inspired this book, Graveyards of Chicago. The site has received several awards, including the "4 Stone" award for superior cemetery-related Web sites. It has grown to include over 600 photographs of an expanding list of area cemeteries.

Matts graveyard images have appeared in the Washington Post, the American Girls News, and both editions of Ursula Bielski's Chicago Haunts, and have been used online by the Chicago Historical Society and the San Diego Union-Tribune. His photographs will also appear in upcoming books by Davis Cecil and Dr. Elmar Buck.

Hucke now lives in Rogers Park, north of his favorite Chicago graveyard, Rosehill. He works as an independent Unix programmer and consultant, specializing in electronic commerce.


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Informative and to the point!
Emily J. Moore
Lots of interesting history of lesser known people in Chicago history as well as the notorious.
Bagaholic
The appendix, bibliography and index are very thorough.
ubalu

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cricket in the Corner on April 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
There are some who think it's weird to tour cemeteries. They're missing the serene tribute to a city's history -- graveyards are neighborhoods and time capsules; art museums and in some cases the final repositories of enduring secrets.
Hucke and Bielski serve as knowledgeable and respectful tour guides for some of the most impressively landscaped, richly historical acres within and adjacent to the city's urban sprawl. It's a field trip through bold headlines and unsung achievements represented by a carved catalog of famous -- and infamous (at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, mob boss Sam Giancana's mausoleum is padlocked) -- names.
The book follows Lake Claremont's practical design of dividing interesting sites by sections of the city map. I know from firsthand experience that you can spend the whole day in the Metro North area touring renowned Graceland Cemetery (Chicago's second oldest burial ground, final home to many whose surnames -- Field, Getty, Palmer, Kinzie, Kimball, Goodman, Sears, Armour, and Pullman to drop just a few -- are synonymous with Chicago's growth); or Rosehill, within whose 350 acres lie bicycle king Ignaz Schwinn, water magnates Otis Ward Hinkley and George Schmitt, shoe guru Milton Florsheim, "merchandising arch-enemies" Aaron Montgomery Ward and Richard Warren Sears, and 14-year old Bobby Franks, murdered in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
Hucke and Bielski devote much-deserved attention to the artistic aspect of grave markers and cemetery architecture across a span of more than a century's worth of changing styles. Additional highlights: more unusual burials (attorney Clarence Darrow's ashes scattered in Jackson Park; musician Steve Goodman's cremains under home plate in his beloved Wrigley Field); a nod to necropolises in outlying areas, and a partial directory of Chicagoland cemeteries. This unusual guide is unusually enlightening on many levels fundamental to Chicago's identity.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By nowyat on January 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Well written, well priced, and the skill of the photography is quite amazing. For anyone who appreciates the beauty and tranquility of cemetaries, this is a must have.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
There are some who think it's weird to tour cemeteries. They're missing the serene tribute to a city's history -- graveyards are neighborhoods and time capsules; art museums and in some cases the final repositories of enduring secrets.
Hucke and Bielski serve as knowledgeable and respectful tour guides for some of the most impressively landscaped, richly historical acres within and adjacent to the city's urban sprawl. It's a field trip through bold headlines and unsung achievements represented by a carved catalog of famous -- and infamous (at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, mob boss Sam Giancana's mausoleum is padlocked) -- names.
The book follows Lake Claremont's practical design of dividing interesting sites by sections of the city map. I know from firsthand experience that you can spend the whole day in the Metro North area touring renowned Graceland Cemetery (Chicago's second oldest burial ground, final home to many whose surnames -- Field, Getty, Palmer, Kinzie, Kimball, Goodman, Sears, Armour, and Pullman to drop just a few -- are synonymous with Chicago's growth); or Rosehill, within whose 350 acres lie bicycle king Ignaz Schwinn, water magnates Otis Ward Hinkley and George Schmitt, shoe guru Milton Florsheim, "merchandising arch-enemies" Aaron Montgomery Ward and Richard Warren Sears, and 14-year old Bobby Franks, murdered in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
Hucke and Bielski devote much-deserved attention to the artistic aspect of grave markers and cemetery architecture across a span of more than a century's worth of changing styles. Additional highlights: more unusual burials (attorney Clarence Darrow's ashes scattered in Jackson Park; musician Steve Goodman's cremains under home plate in his beloved Wrigley Field); a nod to necropolises in outlying areas, and a partial directory of Chicagoland cemeteries. This unusual guide is unusually enlightening on many levels fundamental to Chicago's identity.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Graveyards Of Chicago: The People, History, Art, And Lore Of Cook County Cemeteries is an extensive compendium of facts that provide the reader with a literary expedition through the quirky cemeteries of Metropolitan Chicago. From abandoned, acre-big burial grounds to lavishly-landscaped "cities of the dead", Chicagoland cemeteries capture the imagination of visitors. Many of these fascinating sites, offering a wealth of legend and lore, are unknown to the general public. Graveyards Of Chicago is a unique regional history that remedies this benign neglect, showcasing this unusual Chicago cultural legacy most admirably.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This well-written and informative book is a must-have for anyone who is interested in Chicago history, cemeteries, or architecture. I read it cover to cover and often refer back to it for various reasons.
From the grave of Al Capone to the graves of lesser-known Chicagoans, this book seems to cover it all.
Great photos, fascinating stories!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
What an interesting bit of, usually ignored, Chicago history. I was amazed at learning who chose to take up permanent residence in our corner of the world(like Brady Bunch patriarch, Robert Reed.) Very interesting from an architectural standpoint, too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Emily J. Moore on September 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Informative and to the point! I just wish they had the actually cemetery data included! Great for us "dark" people or anyone else interested in cemetery analysis!
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