There are 10,000 bodies buried under Lincoln Park in Chicago. They have been forgotten for many decades. Perhaps one of us is looking for an ancestor that died in Chicago. This story will deepen the mystery if it doesn’t clear it up.
It is no secret that Lincoln Park was once a cemetery. It began as a cemetery for cholera victims in 1877 because it was considered to be a safe distance from town. There are also 4,000 confederate soldiers that died at Camp Douglas, a POW camp, from awful conditions.
Soon there was a Catholic cemetery, a Jewish cemetery, a pauper cemetery as well as The City Cemetery. At its height there may have been 35,000 graves. Then the Chicago Fire came through and destroyed markers. The official story is that the fire was responsible for graves that were left behind and not reinterred when others were moved to make way for the new park.
Often bones are discovered when routine work is done on the Park or on nearby homes. Most recently (Feb 2010) while a 19th century townhouse was under construction bones were found under a concrete basement floor. They were believed to be from the Old Catholic cemetery. At the same site bones were found in 1947. The Catholic cemetery was sold off in separate lots and sales in the late 1800s.
A terrific researcher named Pamela Bannos has spent an enormous amount of time collecting information to verify, identify and document anything and everything about Lincoln Park’s former identity. Her web site, Hidden Truths, gives any researcher many hours of pleasure digging through all the information she has been able to collect. She provides images of her research and encourages the reader to follow her on her journey of discovering the “Hidden Truths.”
Note: The image above is from Weird Chicago. The tomb is that of Ira Couch.