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German Waldheim Cemetery

(Known also as Forest Home)

Forest Park, Illinois


Originally known as the German Waldheim Cemetery, it joined with the Forest Home Cemetery and is now going under that heading officially. Having photographed dozens of cemeteries in the past ten years, I can safely say this is the wildest one I've been in. I wouldn't be surprised if the dead get up at night. Unlike many other cemeteries of the time, Waldheim and Forest Home were open to all, not discriminating on the basis of ethnicity or religion this made it the perfect place for immigrants and those outside of standard social norms of their period. The Haymarket Massacre Memorial is here, as are Socialists and various radicals. There are, amongst others, Eastern Europeans, Roma (including one labeled "Fortune Teller"), Germans and a largely African American section.One set of photos of note are those of the Sunken Mausoleum. I, bravely, stuck my camera inside the small opening in the door and snap a flash picture, then another. When I got home what I found was two amazing photos of cast iron coffins.

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