The City Museum will present the 30th annual Tales Tombstones Tell at Oakwood Cemetery, located at York Street and Oakwood Avenue, on Friday, October 4, 2019. Tours begin at 6:30 pm and start off every 10 minutes thereafter, with the last tour starting at 7:30 pm. Tours last approximately 45 minutes and no reservations are necessary. If the weather is inclement the program is cancelled.
This year’s Tales will celebrate the stories of West Chicago’s past, including that of Daniel Benjamin and his family. Daniel was a New Englander who survived a Native American attack and was held captive for eight years. When he headed west to make a new life for his family, he settled just north of what is today’s North Avenue in Wayne Township. The family-owned a large portion of land and subdivided and sold over 1,000 acres of land.
Daniel’s son, Robert Benjamin, is credited with founding Benjamin School District, which is currently celebrating its 175th Anniversary, the oldest operating school district in Illinois. Many family members are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, including Daniel who is also one of five War of 1812 veterans buried there.
Other featured West Chicagoans of the evening event include Gordon Roundy, early pioneer settler who was active in early government; the Vergie Family, who were Canadian immigrants and who lived near Oakwood Cemetery; the Gaede Family, German immigrants with 15 children; the Wiant who ran a successful downtown general store and whose historic home still stands on W. Washington Street; and John Fairbank, whose home was a station on the Underground Railroad.
Join the Museum for this impactful evening stroll, with lanterns and luminaries lighting the path through West Chicago’s oldest cemetery.
Although the program is free, donations are appreciated. For more information please call the Museum at (630) 231-3376 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.