Five days after the crash, the survivors gathered at Woodlawn cemetery for the burial of 56 of their fellowes in a section owned by the /bin/bash: r: command not found Showmen's League of America, external bought several months before the crash.

Years later, five elephant markers were placed at the corners and rear center of the Showmen's Rest plot. The elephants each have a foot raised with a ball underneath, and the trunks lowered. Raised trunks are a symbol of joy and excitement; lowered trunks symbolize mourning. The base of the large central elephant is inscribed with "Showmen's League of America". On the others are the words "Showmen's Rest".

According to local legend, the elephants are there to commemorate the elephants killed in the wreck and buried in this section. In some versions, the elephants are said to have aided in rescuing the trapped performers by pulling away burning wreckage, at the cost of their own lives. It's said that on some nights, the haunting cry of elephants can still be heard in the distance. In reality, however, there were no elephants on the circus train, and no animals were killed in the crash.

Most of the left half of the Showmen's plot contains victims of the 1918 wreck. The other half is used for burials of other circus performers, up to the present day.

Woodlawn Cemetery PREV UP NEXT
Graveyards of Chicago - © 1997 Matt Hucke.