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Hidden Gems: Discover Milwaukee's history at Forest Home Cemetery

Posted at 5:28 AM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 20:28:12-04

MILWAUKEE — “Beneath the trees of Forest Home lies the foundation of Milwaukee.” – John Gurda

I must start with this quote from Milwaukee historian John Gurda because I could not have said it better. Forest Home Cemetery & Arboretum, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is a real Hidden Gem with so much to be enjoyed by the living.

Now you may be wondering why you’d ever visit a cemetery if you didn’t have to, but did you know that back in the day cemeteries, Forest Home in particular, were used as parks and gathering places? And still today Forest Home invites you to visit seven days a week for touring, picnicking, even doing yoga. This Cemetery has so much to offer.


There are fountains and rose gardens, miles of walking paths and over 100 species of trees, making it the city's first arboretum.

Some names of note: Beer Barons Pabst, Schlitz, and Blatz, Allen-Bradley's, Lynde and Harry Bradley, Arthur Oliver (A.O.) Smith, Guido Pfister and the list goes on and on! And even though they are full of influential Milwaukeeans and common folk too, with 200 acres, there is enough undeveloped land to enable the cemetery to do burials for the next 100 years! But I say, this Hidden Gem is best enjoyed upright!

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