Lakewood is rich in history and stories — and some of the most interesting ones come from unexpected places. Here are stories submitted by the friends and families of Lakewood in honor of our 150th.
Thank you to all of you who have shared a story so far! We are so appreciative to hear from you, and we hope you’ll stay in touch.
Share your favorite Lakewood photos through our submission form at the bottom of the page, or tag us on Instagram at #mylakewoodstory
Jana’s storyMy husband Jon loved Minneapolis. When friends and family would come to visit, he would take them on his “tour” which always included a drive through Lakewood Cemetery. When he passed away from cancer it seemed only logical that he should be forever at Lakewood – a place that he was proud to share with many. When I visit, I find peace at the sundial, and my favorite memory is attending concerts in the chapel.
David’s storyAs a young kid in the early 1960s, I remember riding my bicycle up to the main office of Lakewood Cemetery from my parent’s house on Fremont Avenue and 34th Street. I was to make the monthly payment on my parents’ family plot. As I remember it was $5.00. The office doors were massive and the counter was high and imposing to a 12-year-old kid! Their plot was just south of the cannon [at the GAR Memorial], and sometimes I would ride over to look at it and try to imagine its history. I still have an interest in history and ran the streetcars at Lake Harriet for 23 years. My wife and I bought a plot just across the road from my parents several years ago.
Kathleen’s storyAbout 1944, every year my Dad and I would put flowers from our garden on my brother’s grave. Brad died when he was just 3 years old. My Dad acquired the graves for Brad about 1938. Brad was by himself for years but now there is his Dad, Mom, sister and Grandma with him. My sister decorated the graves for years, but now I have Lakewood decorate on July 4th and Christmas.
Curt’s storyI had a marker placed for my great-grandparents when I recently made a 1,000 mile trip to Lakewood and discovered that they were buried there next to my grandparents. I was unaware of that when I got emergency leave from the Army to visit Lakewood for my grandfather’s funeral in 1966. I am just glad that I could add a tribute to them.
Charlotte’s storyMy great aunt is buried by the little cemetery pond at Lakewood. Last summer I went to visit her and saw a huge eagle sitting on a branch over the pond. He was very close to me. He sat there for a very long time. It was awesome! I had never seen an eagle before!
My storyThe first place I ever saw a Canada goose was in Lakewood Cemetery. This was in 1970 or so. I used to visit the cemetery through the “back gate” off of Barrie Road. During the same excursions, I would play along the trolley tracks south of 42nd St., before they had been restored.
Abby’s storyI love the history that Lakewood holds. Everyday when I am on the grounds, I think about the history of all those that have came here to say goodbye to those they love. It makes me feel connected to older generations of my own family, people that I never met- but that I know walked on the same ground I do.
Mikaela’s storyI learned the alphabet in Lakewood, 23 years ago, and 24 years ago, I learned to read. The first time I drove a car was in Lakewood. In high school, I took my senior photos in Lakewood. My family and I have walked in Lakewood every Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and most memorial days since I was little. (Photo: Senior photo 2015)
Marion’s storyMy husband passed away at a young age, and so as a young wife, I wasn’t really prepared for this event. Not being from MN originally, my husband’s family recommended Lakewood as other members of their family are buried here in the Greek Section. It is without a doubt a beautiful and peaceful resting place.
Stephanie’s storyMy great-great grandparents, great-grandmother, grandparents and mother are all buried in a family plot near the southwest corner. Nearby are an aunt and uncle, and great-aunt and uncle. I’ve been visiting the cemetery since I was a child, and particularly like summer visits when you can hear the music from the Lake Harriet Bandshell.
My storyI started coming to walk Lakewood after Covid started last spring. I have enjoyed learning about the history and beauty. I now have a standing Saturday morning walk with a few friends that we will keep going even after Covid. Love all the seasons!
Tangy’s storyMy sister, Kim, used to bring her kids to Lakewood for their Memorial Day celebration. Years later, when she died from a rare form of breast cancer, the most logical choice was that she should be buried at Lakewood. Her kids could keep their mama’s tradition of celebrating Memorial Day here and they can still do it together.
Patricia’s storyWhen Jesse R. Bill, my husband’s grandfather, died from the Spanish flu in 1920, his widow Eleanor purchased several plots at Lakewood. Who could have imagined that others would lose loved ones to another pandemic exactly 100 years later! Today Jesse’s and Eleanor’s great-grandchildren and I visit not only Jesse ‘s and Eleanor’s gravesites, but those of their son and wife (Harry and Anne Bill ) and grandson (Gary L. Bill, my husband) a few feet away. It brings comfort to think of them resting together in a place of beauty and peace.
Cindy’s storyMy Dad owned the Lee M. Bogle Co. which was a monument and marker company at 3529 Hennepin. He sold most of the markers, monuments and mausoleums that are in Lakewood today. He brought me to the cemetery many times as a child. My favorite monument is Elk's Rest. My grandparents and parents are all buried in Lakewood now. His company is gone and replaced with an apartment building.
My storyEvery year we visit the graves of my grandparents (both sets), my parents, my uncle, my husband's parents & his grandma. It makes me feel connected to all of them and not alone. It is such a beautiful, peaceful cemetery!
Kellie’s storyMy favorite monument is the large elk that overlooks Lakewood’s lake and my favorite memory is going with my parents to see my grandparents and hear the family stories. Many of our family members are buried at Lakewood since back in the 1950’s. My husband and I have both pre-purchased our plots to ensure we are buried there as well. It’s such a beautiful location; and has such beautiful grounds. We have since moved away but still return to visit and place flowers in memory of my parents.
My storySo many memories!! We live in the neighborhood and have enjoyed driving through and taking in this beautiful spot. In college, I did a project taking pictures of the statuary. As I grew older and had kids, we would wander the grounds. Love it here!!
My favorite memorial at LakewoodThe University of Minnesota (Anatomy Bequest Program) marker. My grandpa died in 2019 and donated his body to the U of MN program. He has always been selfless in his sacrifice and love.
We celebrate loved ones by…Our family always comes to Lakewood to visit those we love and miss. We also eat their favorite foods in honor of them and like to go through old photos and home videos.
My favorite Lakewood memoryWalking the grounds with my family on a beautiful spring day.
My storyI drove Jones-Harrison Res. van on Memorial Day week and residents enjoyed seeing the beautiful flowers and little girl grave stones. It was always an annual event driving through Lakewood.
Winnie’s storyMy first relative buried at Lakewood was my Grandfather’s 7 year old sister in 1887. I have the original deed for the lot purchased by my Great Grandfather on 4/23/1887 for $40 for a 12 person plot near the entrance. It is signed by C M Loring (treasurer) and R D Cleveland (secretary), early founders of Lakewood. I will be the last to be buried on the lot.
Kristy’s storyMy father used to spend time near the lake when he was young and my grandparents are buried close to Hubert Humphrey. I've also discovered that several of my husband's older family members are buried there or in the mausoleum. I like to put flowers or stones on the markers and keep the grass from covering them. I walk at Lakewood 2-3 times a week, and I have taken quite a few photos there. Photo credit: @2021 Kristy Shubert-North
Sharon’s storyA few months after my husband was laid to rest, my daughter and I attended the lantern lighting ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, the sky gave some lighting moments back to us. A distant storm was brewing. The ceremony was a very real comfort during our time of mourning. Shortly after my husband died I made a trip to the cemetery at the height of spring. The blossoming trees, the tulip gardens and the lake were stunning. Thank you for such a beautiful place to visit during some difficult days. Celebrating Father’s Day at Lakewood with memory ribbons and beautiful white roses was another especially moving way to remember my loved one.
Margaret’s storyThere used to be a little back gate at the southwest corner of Lakewood by the Lake Harriet bandshell. My grandparents lived on Linden Hills Blvd and entered the cemetery through there. My Great Grandmother asked to be buried in that corner so she could hear the band concerts, and she has been listening to them since 1914. Her husband joined her in 1921.
Carol’s storyMy husband's grandfather, Peter J. Christopherson, a Norwegian immigrant was a blacksmith and a proud member of the Brotherhood Railway Carmen of America. The family story about him was that he was one of the blacksmiths that built the wrought iron fence around Lakewood. The work was done mostly in the winter. They would build a section at a time and then bring it to Lakewood for installation on a horse drawn wagon/sled. When complete they came back and evened out all of the fence points. My husband's ashes are now buried at Lakewood protected by the fence.
Beth’s storyI grew up on 35th and Fremont So. From my house you could see HHH monument [Hubert Humphrey]. I learned to drive in Lakewood, it had all the turns, hills and straight seats. Every Sunday we would drive through the cemetery for an afternoon drive, I thought it was the most beautiful cemetery I ever saw and I still do.
Sandra’s storyMany generations of my grandparents’ families are buried at Lakewood–some who immigrated from Germany. The first buried there were my great grandfather (died 1878) and my grandfather’s brother, who passed away at age 2 that same year. The most recent internment was my mother, who passed away in 2011 at age 101. She is buried next to her parents.
Linda’s storyThe Leekley Family has owned two lots at Lakewood for 100 years, since 1921. It is our centennial anniversary at Lakewood. Lakewood staff have always been very helpful to the family in arranging all of our memorial and burial services. We look forward to continuing that relationship for generations to come. Thank you, Lakewood, for such a beautiful final resting place.
Glenda’s storyWe are from South Dakota. Last year my beautiful husband Bob was at Mayo Clinic in Rochester for cancer treatment - 2 weeks in hospital, 2 weeks out. While visiting us, our dear friend Ginny said "I want to drive you up to Lakewood Cemetery, where there is an incredible chapel in Southern Minneapolis." We drove there for an outing and toured the gorgeous chapel. Bob sat in the pews while we looked around and we even sang an acappella song about living and dying. It was poignant, tear-jerking and therapeutic. A year later we were back for a (fabulous!) medical checkup and once again we drove to the chapel at Lakewood Cemetery. This time we were able to show the place to our 16 year old son and give thanks to God in this beautiful space. We love art and Lakewood is exceptional in the beauty of 10 million mosaic pieces in this historic chapel. We now encourage friends to go there if possible and see it for themselves. It's breath-taking. Thank you, Lakewood.
My storyLakewood was a tremendous comfort at a terrible time for my husband and me. Our newborn son has a beautiful spot here. We are able to visit him and bring our two lovely daughters.
My storyLakewood is always so beautiful and is such a HAPPY place to visit and visit with my father.
SHARE YOUR STORY
Whatever your interest or connection with Lakewood, we’d love to hear about it! Use the prompts below for inspiration. And don’t forget to share your photos and stories on Facebook and Instagram as well: #lakewood150, #mylakewoodstory