7900 W. Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
Acres: Official Website
Note: This cemetery is closed on Sundays
Bella Morte Rating: 1 Tombstone
Located just north of Forest Home a/k/a German Waldheim, Concordia is a cemetery no taphophile should be breaking his/her neck to get to. While it does have a few notable monuments (see gallery), it isn’t exactly the sort of place we’d declare memorable. Indeed, we list it here merely because of its aforementioned proximity to Forest Home (itself no great shakes, but worth a visit to be certain).
One of the more interesting tidbits about the cemetery’s history derives from the impact of modern life on those who were committed into that hallowed ground with the intent it would be their eternal resting place. Alas, for those buried in the southern part of Concordia, such rest was denied—at least for a while. You see, in 1950 the Congress Expressway (now Eisenhower Expressway) was on the minds of city planners and the intended roadway’s path was directly in line with about 1500 underground residents of Concordia. After much legal maneuvering, the government officials got their way and thus began the grim task of disinterring nearly 2,000 corpses and relocating them to other parts of Concordia or, in some cases, different cemeteries altogether.
Also of interest is the fact that many individuals who perished in the famous Eastland Disaster now take their eternal rest in Concordia’s hallowed grounds.
The northeastern section of Concordia is probably the most aesthetically arresting as it is there the skyline is punctuated by a host of soaring obelisks. Elsewhere, there are several lovely private mausoleums and a public mausoleum that is hardly inspiring in terms of design or innovation.
Visitors may be puzzled, as we most assuredly were, by the presence of a large red brick building located along one of the cemetery’s boarders. The fact that its windows are covered in brick as well adds to the ominous aura of the place and put more than one of The Proprietors in mind of that famous scene in "Jeepers Creepers" where the brother and sister stars drive by an abandoned school building just as the movie's villainous monster is stuffing a suspiciously human-shaped bag down a drain pipe. Coming upon the looming building under cover of night would most-assuredly be disconcerting. Alas, the truth of the matter is far more mundane than our Stephen King-like speculations as a call to the friendly Concordia receptionist revealed. The building is a pump house (circa 1930) and it supplies water to this day to the cemetery properties and grounds. It is also used for storage. Sad...but true.
Alas, there's really nothing more to tell about this burying ground so we'll simply leave you with yet another reminder not to go out of your way for this one. That being said, there are a handful of monuments worthy of discovery should you find yourself in the vicinity.