At 350 acres, Rosehill is the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago.
It is also one of the oldest, established in February of 1859 with
the first burial that same month. The name "Rosehill" resulted from
a mapmaker's error - the area was previously called "Roe's Hill",
named for nearby tavernkeeper Hiram Roe. [AIA 1993]
Rosehill is west of the Metra tracks that parallel Ravenswood
Avenue. The larger and older portion of the cemetery is south of
Peterson; to the north is a smaller section that permits only
The cemetery was landscaped by William Saunders. Its prominent
features include an entrance gate of Joliet limestone, designed
by William Boyington; a Romanesque chapel by Joseph Silsbee; and
the city's largest public mausoleum, by Sidney Lovell. [AIA 1993]
Rosehill includes, among other attractions, the graves of numerous
Chicago mayors (including Long John Wentworth), Civil War generals
and soldiers, and Charles Gates Dawes, Vice President of the
United States. Household names such as Oscar Mayer, Montgomery Ward,
and Richard Sears are interred here as well.
The climactic scene of the movie Next of Kin was filmed at
Rosehill, with a gunfight taking place in the area west of the chapel.
The funeral scene in Backdraft takes place at the Volunteer
Firefighter's Monument at Rosehill, but was actually filmed elsewhere
using a replica of this monument. Lulu Fellowes (the girl in the glass box)
also appeared in the film U.S. Marshals.
Much of the information here was provided by David Wendell,
formerly historian and archivist at Rosehill.