Forest Park Cemetery Celebrates 100th Anniversary
Woodlawn Memorial Park notable for Showmen's Rest and burial site of area families.
An important part of Forest Park history will be observing its 100th anniversary with a community celebration on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Woodlawn Memorial Park, 7750 Cermak Rd., will serve up lunch and speeches by noted people around the area starting at 11 a.m.
Glimpses of the community's and the memorial park's storied past also will be on display. Galleries of historical memorabilia and photos will be spread throughout the facility, said Deborah Weathers-Lee, a family service counselor and Woodlawn's unofficial historian.
Visitors also can walk through the grounds and catch some of its past as well. Most notable at Woodlawn is "Showmen's Rest," the mass grave of as many as 60 employees of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus who were killed in the Hammond circus train wreck of June 22, 1918.
Well-known families from the near west side also are interred there, including the founders of Schwinn Bicycle. Also buried there are members of the Klas family, owners of Klas, a restaurant in Berwyn noted for fine Bohemian food and an eatery used by area mobsters including Al Capone.
Fans of landscape architecture can visit the grave of Sven Lollesgaard, who designed the Woodlawn site and helped create the village of Riverside, she said. Baseball fans can also take a look at the grave of Erv "Four Sack" Dusak, who played infield and outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1941 to 1952, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
For more information, call Woodlawn at 708-442-8500.