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Some of our favorite sites
Interactive map of cemetery walk characters that have been featured over the past 20 years Cemetery Walk Character Map
Janine Crandell (coordinator/designer) Illinois Ancestors Tombstone Project
View Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Discovery Walk 2013 Video on YouTube Memorial Walk
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Veteran's Avenue Of Flags
Board Of Trustees

CEM Board Of Directors Terms

About Us And Our History

Bloomington Vault

The Evergreen Memorial Cemetery founded in the early 1820′s, is a historic cemetery nestled in the heart of Bloomington, IL. The 87 acre cemetery begins with a simple entrance, winding avenues, towering trees and an elaborate mausoleum. It is a wonderful example of preservation, culture and tradition in Central Illinois.

History of the Avenue of Flags

The “Avenue of Flags” was originally envisioned in 1977 by a group of Veterans from the McLean County Memorial AMVETS Post 270. The original funding came from and was managed by the AMVETS. That was followed by purchases or donations from individuals or organizations. At that time the cemetery was under the control of the City of Bloomington and the Avenue of Flags was managed by Lyle Converse who served on the Board of Trustees at the cemetery.

All the original flags were showing signs of wear and were replaced in 2011 with more weather resistant flags. Some of the original poles are still used and as the Avenue has grown larger and newer poles have been purchased. Each flagpole is adorned with a plaque that includes the veteran’s information. We currently have 160 flags on the Avenue with room to grow. If you wish to honor your loved ones service to our country please contact Evergreen Memorial Cemetery office.

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery will likely continue to be one of the largest Avenue of Flags in this area.

The cemetery still has several veterans’ coffin flags that were flown on the original avenue and are available for pickup by family members.

Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is one of the richest historical resources in our Community. People from all walks of life are buried in this over 180 year old cemetery. Rich, poor, famous, infamous or forgotten alike, all are buried here. Evergreen provides a resting place for members of our community.

A few of the famous historical figures buried here are:

  • Adlai Stevenson I – Vice President of the United States
  • David Davis – Supreme Court Justice
  • Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourne – 19th Century’s greatest baseball pitcher
  • Dorothy Gage – Dorothy Gage was the inspiration for Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
  • David Haggard, Revolutionary War Soldier
  • Carl and Julia Vrooman, orginal owners of the Vroomam Mansion
  • Marie Litta, Madme Minnie Salzman & Grace B. Wagner, World renowned Opera Singers

A brief history of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery:

  • 1831 or 1832 John Kimler family loses a child which they buried on the family farm. After that, Kimler’s friends and neighbors requested to be buried in that same area as needed.
  • 1851 Bloomington mayor, David I. Perry appoints a committee to purchase the Kimler Burying Ground in order to have a city cemetery. Kimler Burying Ground became Bloomington City Cemetery. (Also known as Old City Cemetery)
  • 1852 – 1869 Acreage surrounding the cemetery was purchased to enlarge the Bloomington City Cemetery.
  • 1857 Linus Graves, James Allin and others purchase land adjacent to Bloomington City Cemetery to develop and create The Bloomington Cemetery as a for profit venture under a Board of Trustees called The Bloomington Cemetery Association.
  • After decades of prosperity, The Bloomington Cemetery Association eventually had inadequate revenues for the upkeep of The Bloomington Cemetery. Sadly, there was great neglect for many years.
  • All the while, Bloomington City Cemetery was cared for by the Bloomington Parks Department.
  • 1962 The City of Bloomington was petitioned demanding that action be taken to correct the deplorable conditions at Bloomington Cemetery.
  • 1963 The City of Bloomington Township took title and responsibility for both Bloomington City Cemetery (Old City Cemetery) and The Bloomington Cemetery, joining them under the name of Evergreen Memorial Cemetery. The cemetery is overseen by a three member Board of Trustees.
  • 1991 Crypts and a Niche wall were placed on the north side of the current mausoleum grounds A South Crypt and Niche wall was added a couple years later. At the time the South Crypts were added the original Chapel was constructed.
  • 2007 After careful consideration and testing done by an environmental company it was decided by Board of Trustees to tear down old chapel and reconstruct Chapel and Mausoleum grounds.
  • 2009 Evergreen Memorial Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel and grounds was reconstructed. Single and companion niches were added.
  • 2011 A new area was added to the Cemetery to provide for the burial of the community’s canine and feline companions.