The McLean County Museum of History is pleased to announce that all students participating in the School Tours of the 2016 Evergreen Cemetery Walk will attend for FREE. We are committed to reaching out to diverse communities and removing barriers so that we can help as many students as possible discover our local history. Through the generosity of this year’s sponsor, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and support from our members, admission fees for students and chaperones to attend the 2016 Evergreen Cemetery Walk have been waived.
The Museum offers four days of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk specifically for students in grades 6-8, 9-12, and college (public and private schools, and home school families) in McLean County and Central Illinois. The dates for the 2016 School Tours of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk are October 3, 4, 5, and 6, 2016. Three tours are offered each day (8:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m.) and are 75 minutes long. This is an excellent opportunity to teach your students about individuals who have contributed to Central Illinois’ rich and colorful history.This program will also help students understand how and why it is important to preserve and respect cemeteries. Bring your classes to participate in this fascinating, award-winning outdoor theatrical program.
Below you will find links to pdfs of a variety of information that will be useful in preparing to bring your students to your scheduled tour of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. These PDFs include:
This section includes information for teachers, chaperones, and students to review before attending the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. The handouts below include information on location of event, teacher check in at the event, student and chaperone expectations, appropriate behavior guidelines for students, inclement weather policies, photography policy, parking information, and more.
Teachers, please make sure you copy and distribute the student and chaperone information sheets to all students and chaperones who will be attending the Evergreen Cemetery Walk.
This section includes words that may be unfamiliar to students who participate in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk. Words included in this document can be found in the character biographies (found in the teacher packet) and those that will be heard during the performances at the Cemetery Walk. Words are divided by character, including a separate list of cemetery/monument related terms. Words are defined according to Merriam-Webster dictionary unless otherwise noted.
This document includes a brief history on the evolution of cemeteries and a history of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. Also included is information on monument materials, cemetery art and symbolism, monument types, and cemetery structures, of which many can be found in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. This information will be very useful in helping to prepare students for participation in the Evergreen Cemetery Walk.
As a schoolgirl subjected to segregation, Murray disliked the subject of history. She observed that “Blacks and Indians” never seemed to “win or be successful.” Though her mother routinely had to pack lunches in shoeboxes since restaurants that served Blacks were uncommon, such prejudice was not enough to suppress Murray’s belief in the innate goodness of people. During her childhood, the Ku Klux Klan often met in an old mine near her home. But rather than hiding in fear, Murray took it upon herself to befriend the young son of one of the Klansmen!
Featured with Jacob Jung
At the start of the Civil War, Higgins enlisted in the 59th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. On September 1,1865, having fought in the battles of Shiloh, Stone River, and Chickamauga, he was finally mustered out. Following the close of the war, he headed west to seek his fortune and arrived in Bloomington in 1868 with only $10.00. That same year he began working for James Haldeman as a marble cutter’s apprentice, and in less than 10 years, acquired the business. In 1878, Higgins partnered with Jacob Jung, with whom he is featured in this year’s Cemetery Walk.
Featured with Hamer Higgins
Much like Higgins, Jung began work as a marble cutter’s apprentice. In order to earn enough money to cover his room and board, he worked additional jobs in a bakery and carrying bags for hotel guests. Four years later he had learned his trade and left to work on a government canal in Alabama. The strike of 1877 ended his work, and he trudged homeward, penniless and in tattered clothing. Undefeated, he bartered his services at a boarding house and, remarkably, entered into a partnership with Hamer Higgins about one year later.
Born in Canada, this charitable woman immigrated to the U.S. in the 1860s. When Thompson was only 17 years old, her mother’s death left her to look after her six siblings. This was the start of her life of physically ministering to the sick and infirm. During the flu epidemic of 1918 Thompson worked tirelessly to provide care to the dying, while also assisting mothers in childbirth. The last 16 years of her life were spent as a field worker for the Day Nursery and Settlement Association, whose purpose was to provide a safe place for children of women required to work outside the home.
Energetic and well-liked, Jackman spent over 40 years in railroading, working in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Illinois. Arriving in Bloomington in 1864, he took a position as superintendent of machinery for the Chicago & Alton Railroad Shops, and there he remained until his resignation almost 15 years later. Amazingly, during Jackman’s impressive career, he would see the railroad link states from coast to coast, and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
Stories are often told of restless youths running away to join the circus but, at the age of 16, young Richard Shipley actually did. And while he may have only spent a year with the Ringling Brothers Circus before returning home to his family, it was enough time for him to develop an enduring passion for life under the big top. So great was this passion that 20 years later, Shipley returned to the circus as an elephant trainer—an occupation he would hold for the rest of his professional life.
Image courtesy of Circus World, Baraboo, Wisconsin.
The Evergreen Cemetery Walk is a great educational program for students to participate in. It is our intention that students will develop an understanding and appreciation for cemeteries as a source for history, that students will begin to understand our local history and its importance, and that students will understand the natural connection between history and the arts. In addition, the Cemetery Walk will help teachers meet a variety of History and English related ISBE Learning Goals and Common Core Standards.