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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

Evergreen Cemetery Walk- 25th Anniversary

Saturday, October 12
Starts at 11:00 AM

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery
302 E. Miller Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

Evergreen Cemetery Walk- 25th Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, the Museum, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and Illinois Voices Theatre—Echoes came together to solve a growing problem in our community—cemetery vandalism. Leaders at these entities realized that there was a great need in our community to educate the public, especially students, about the importance of preserving and respecting cemeteries as part of our collective history. Cemetery vandalism was a major problem, particularly in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery—Bloomington’s oldest cemetery. Thus began the Evergreen Cemetery Walk with its mission of preventing further vandalism and disrespect by teaching members of the community about the historical importance of cemeteries through the voices of the very people buried there.

This event serves over 3,500 people (mostly students) every year. To date, we have featured 179 different individuals from all walks of life, whose stories illustrate the impact the people of McLean County have had on history – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. In addition, the impact of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk can be felt throughout the state and nation. This award-winning, nationally recognized interpretive program is often referred to as the “granddaddy” of all cemetery walks. Put on your walking shoes and bring your family to participate in this fascinating, outdoor theatrical program.

Public performances are held each Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6 and 12-13 with two performances daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $17 for the general public, $15 for Museum members,and $5 for children and students with proper I/D.

$2 off public and member tickets when purchased at least 24 hours before the performance. No discount on student tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and online through the Museum’s website.

Patrons of this year’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk can look forward to hearing stories from such persons as: Charles Kirkpatrick (longtime Bloomington businessman, civic leader, organizer; weekend only); Annie May Christian (an independent, single woman who was a capable, intelligent, and enthusiastic leader of the local Amateur Musical Club); Ebenezer Wright (head of the western agency for the New York Juvenile Asylum, an institution that sent children west on the “Orphan Train”); Napoleon and Louise Calimese (superintendent and matron, respectively, of the McLean County Home for Colored Children, who spent nearly 30 years investing in the lives of their charges); Florence Kaywood (spent 16 years caring for female prisoners and their children while serving as the police matron for the City of Bloomington); and Oliver Munsell (helped revive a shuttered Illinois Wesleyan University in his time as president, though his tenure was tarnished by scandal).


For more information contact education@mchistory.org, call 1 (309) 827-0428, or visit https://www.mchistory.org/learn/evergreen-cemetery-walk.

Cemetery Walk

Evergreen Cemetery Walk- 25th Anniversary

Saturday, October 12
Starts at 2:00 PM

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery
302 E. Miller Street, Bloomington, IL 61701

Evergreen Cemetery Walk- 25th Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, the Museum, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and Illinois Voices Theatre—Echoes came together to solve a growing problem in our community—cemetery vandalism. Leaders at these entities realized that there was a great need in our community to educate the public, especially students, about the importance of preserving and respecting cemeteries as part of our collective history. Cemetery vandalism was a major problem, particularly in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery—Bloomington’s oldest cemetery. Thus began the Evergreen Cemetery Walk with its mission of preventing further vandalism and disrespect by teaching members of the community about the historical importance of cemeteries through the voices of the very people buried there.

This event serves over 3,500 people (mostly students) every year. To date, we have featured 179 different individuals from all walks of life, whose stories illustrate the impact the people of McLean County have had on history – locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. In addition, the impact of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk can be felt throughout the state and nation. This award-winning, nationally recognized interpretive program is often referred to as the “granddaddy” of all cemetery walks. Put on your walking shoes and bring your family to participate in this fascinating, outdoor theatrical program.

Public performances are held each Saturday and Sunday, October 5-6 and 12-13 with two performances daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $17 for the general public, $15 for Museum members,and $5 for children and students with proper I/D.

$2 off public and member tickets when purchased at least 24 hours before the performance. No discount on student tickets. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, and online through the Museum’s website.

Patrons of this year’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk can look forward to hearing stories from such persons as: Charles Kirkpatrick (longtime Bloomington businessman, civic leader, organizer; weekend only); Annie May Christian (an independent, single woman who was a capable, intelligent, and enthusiastic leader of the local Amateur Musical Club); Ebenezer Wright (head of the western agency for the New York Juvenile Asylum, an institution that sent children west on the “Orphan Train”); Napoleon and Louise Calimese (superintendent and matron, respectively, of the McLean County Home for Colored Children, who spent nearly 30 years investing in the lives of their charges); Florence Kaywood (spent 16 years caring for female prisoners and their children while serving as the police matron for the City of Bloomington); and Oliver Munsell (helped revive a shuttered Illinois Wesleyan University in his time as president, though his tenure was tarnished by scandal).


For more information contact education@mchistory.org, call 1 (309) 827-0428, or visit https://www.mchistory.org/learn/evergreen-cemetery-walk.

Cemetery Walk