Posts tagged ‘Cemetery’

Bloomvale Cemetery – The Visit!

Many of you will remember the story of our long forgotten cemetery encircled by landfill. If not, find it here.

Well, today many of our committee went for a visit along with a couple of city officials. They helped us find our way back through the 12 foot reeds and we were able to uncover some headstones. The area is very over-grown. Very. And soggy.

The photos below are from today’s visit and of an earlier visit (when there was actually snow on the ground). The photo credit for those go to Anne Coffey who was our first scout.

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The good news is that the City is very willing to help reclaim this area. Our shared goal is to make it visitable once again. It is a large endeavor we have before us. Between the landfill, soil erosion, the invasive reeds (did I mention they are 12 feet tall?), rogue trees, and general neglect, it is going to take a village – or an entire city – and time to bring this story a happy ending.

We are planning organized outing(s) this spring and summer to clean and recover any stones that have sunk or are hidden in some way. We will keep you posted and hope you will be involved.

Here is the link to Find A Grave where you can see the list of known burials in the cemetery, that is, those interred after they started issuing permits in 1902. You may also find this list at our library.

**UPDATE**

SAVE THE DATE
Bloomvale Cemetery Clean-up Event Saturday June 7th 2014 10:00am – click link to sign up-
http://midwestcemetery.weebly.com/bloomvale-cemetery.html
**However, if you have mobility issues, this is not the event for you. Once this work day is complete, subsequent work days will be available for you to be involved and see this site.

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Bloomvale Cemetery

A little known landmark in the city is that of Bloomvale Cemetery. Never heard of it? You are not alone. Even if you have lived in Chicago Heights all of your life you may still not know of its existence. You might just know of the area as “the dump”. WHAT?!? There is no longer a cemetery there? Well, here is the story.

While its origins are unknown, Bloomvale Cemetery may have been in use years before Chicago Heights began issuing burial permits in January 1902. 339 burial permits later, the last was issued in February of 1912. (these can be found on findagrave.com or at the Chicago Heights Free Public Library) Many founding members of the city were buried there. A 1907 map of Chicago Heights shows a large plot along 28th street (no longer an actual street) across from Ludowici-Celadon Co., a terra-cotta and tile roofing company long gone. Also in the area was a brick company due to the rich clay deposits.

As years passed those who visited loved ones in Bloomvale Cemetery passed away as well, to be buried elsewhere, and it sort-of was forgotten. After the closing of the terra cotta and brick companies in that area, two landfills crept up there, originally beginning to fill the clay hole from the brick factory. Years passed, and the boundaries of the cemetery have gotten smaller. A current map of the area only shows the cemetery as a small patch along that side of the road, a fraction of its representation on the 1907 map.

Bloomvale’s size is quite large on this 1907 map

The Chicago Heights Historic Preservation Advisory Committee landmarked it in June of 2000. VERY little is known about our little cemetery encircled by landfills – and that brings me to our plea. If anyone has any recollections, pictures, information, etc about Bloomvale Cemetery, post it in the comments below or email us directly. When does a cemetery cease to be a cemetery? I say never, and it is time to reclaim it.

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**UPDATE**

SAVE THE DATE
Bloomvale Cemetery Clean-up Event Saturday June 7th 2014 10:00am – click link to sign up and for more information
http://midwestcemetery.weebly.com/bloomvale-cemetery.html
**However, if you have mobility issues, this is not the event for you. Once this work day is complete, subsequent work days will be available for you to be involved and see this site.