Research: Cemeteries

Five cemeteries can be found in the Downers Grove area.   

  • Main Street Cemetery. This pioneer cemetery in the middle of downtown Downers Grove is owned by the Village of Downers Grove and managed jointly with Downers Grove Historical Society. In 1991, the village assumed control of the cemetery and the Society joined the village in a stewardship role to assist in the efforts to rehabilitate the neglected cemetery. Society board member Lois Sterba is the stewardship liaison with the village in these efforts. Among the major accomplishments are:
    • Annually, the society coordinates with the village’s efforts to replace damaged monuments, add monuments for newly researched burials, and other site improvements.  
    • In 1999, a new stone wall and stairs were added to the east side of the cemetery.
    • In 2008, a new pergola was added on the west entrance to the cemetery with two interpretive signs  
    • In 2019, a team of Society volunteers developed and released the Main Street Cemetery Web App including a map, biographical information for all those located in the cemetery. Audio narratives for the most notable individuals are also available. Additional audio was added in 2021. 
    • In 2021, a ground penetrating radar (GPR) project identified additional interments and revealed an existing headstone just below the surface of the ground. 

Additionally, Downers Grove Historical Society and the Downers Grove Museum routinely run educational program, include Living Cemetery, where local citizens and children take on the personal of our pioneering citizens who were buried here. Check out the Society Facebook page or subscribe to our email list for the current event schedule.

  • Downer Burial Ground – This small family cemetery was donated to the Downers Grove Park District in 1974. Only members of the Downer family are buried here. In 2021, the Downers Grove Historical Society and the Downers Grove Park District added a new interpretative sign.  
  • Oak Hill and Oak Crest Cemeteries. These adjacent cemeteries in the southwest Downers Grove area are actually located in the Downers Grove Township, not the village.  The township maintains these cemeteries.  A list of interments is maintained by the Township on their website.
  • Holy Family Cemetery. This Catholic cemetery was formerly known as St. Bernard’s Cemetery. The first known interment was in 1913. In 2015, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet renamed this long-forgotten cemetery to Holy Family as part of renovation and expansion that included a land acquisition and construction of a new columbarium.  Interments have increased since the expansion. 

Main Street Cemetery Map:

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