Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is a wonderful example of preservation, culture and tradition in Central Illinois.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, founded in the early 1820’s, is a historic cemetery nestled in the heart of Bloomington. The 47-acre cemetery begins with a simple entrance, winding avenues, towering trees and a peaceful mausoleum.
We can imagine that you will enjoy the peace that comes with strolling through the grounds. Evergreen Memorial Cemetery has a distinctive park like setting, capturing and expressing a love for nature. Nature and man are brought together in harmony here. Today, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery captures the imagination of the visitor who may be swept away by the quality which one might call the essential spirit of the place. It is a place where the dignity of nature is appreciated by those who visit.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is an impressive repository of local, state, national, and international history.
Every visit to Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is like a trip back in time. It’s like shaking hands with former Asst. Secretary of Agriculture Carl Vrooman, walking the gardens with Supreme Court Justice David Davis and playing catch with Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Charles Radbourn, former Vice President Adlai Stevenson I, Revolutionary War soldier David Haggard and Dorothy Louise Gage, niece of L. Frank Baum, author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".
Here is a podcast provided by Shane Waters about Dorothy Gage and Evergreen Memorial Cemetery.
People of all cultures and beliefs are welcomed and honored here. Services in keeping with one's beliefs may be held graveside or in the Mausoleum Chapel.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery’s 47 acres offers an array of internment options, including:
- Traditional graves
- Mausoleum Chapel and Garden Crypts
- Individual and Companion Niches
- U.S. Army Ranger Sgt Joshua P. Rodgers Veterans Field
- Dorothy Gage Memorial Garden
- Paws to Heaven's Rest for Pets
We have two sections dedicated to children, four sections dedicated to veterans and a section dedicated to our beloved pets.
Self-guided tours are welcome during normal business hours. Maps are available at the cemetery entrance or in the cemetery office.
A Brief History of Evergreen
- 1831 | 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 with a Niche unit were placed on the north side of the current mausoleum grounds. An additional Crypt and Niche unit was added a couple years later. The original Chapel was constructed at the same time the South Crypts were added.
- 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 were 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.
- 2016 | After a year of planning the Cemetery, in partnership with Cargill Inc., hosted the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall during our Honor Respect Remember Event.
- 2017 | New veterans section opened and dedicated as the U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Joshua P. Rodgers Veterans Field. Also dedicated in this area was the black granite monument commemorating the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall visiting in 2016 on this site.
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Good Friday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Veteran's Day observed
- Thanksgiving Day observed
- Day after Thanksgiving holiday
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- New Year's Eve