Illinois Saving Graves by Foxie Hagerty

"Illinois Saving Graves is dedicated to providing leadership, education and advocacy in preserving and restoring endangered and forgotten cemeteries statewide"

Our Motto "PreservingIllinoisGravesOneGrave@Time!

"God's Acre"/Cathy Spencer ~~ Lake Co., Illinois Saving Graves

Feed ME ..............Thank YOU

This is going to be a little bit different as there actually was a cemetery but now there is nothing left to show that is a or even was a cemetery in the Lake Bluffs area where they are building a new school, This is really interesting & all the hard work Cathy & others have done in order to find this missing cemetery.

Always a woks in progress

This photo Cathy just sent to me & I had to put it here. I have never and this is the first time I've seen a tombstone this old. This is amazing. I surely hope they might find a few more. it' is just truly amazing to me. Thanks Cathy. This is the tombstone she talks about below  in the pages about being found and put in the Museum there. Have to look up that information. Thanks so much Cathy & will enjoy meeting you in a couple of weeks.

Photos Click here!!

This is Kathy, Fogerty (not sure I spelled that correct) PhD in Anthropology, and a bone specialist (left) and Cathy Spencer, (right)

Here is a photo of topsoil removal day one (September 26, 2007) at Central  School searching for graves and other pioneer related finds. Michael Peters, M. D & his faithful companion, Hazel. in the foreground.

Foxie, on the subject of GPR, attached are photos of Dr. Tom Loebel and his outdoor work station, Russell Quick with the magnatometer, and a GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar machine.

IL Sav Graves Hme IL Sav Grav Counties Il Sav Graves Endangered

Location of the Tavern, Church and Cemetery

By Cathy Spencer; July 19, 2007

“The most influential of the five stage stops in Lake County was the one operated by William and Mary Dwyer, who had both been born in Ireland in 1800. It was located on the west side of Green Bay Road about one-third mile north of the present West Scranton Avenue just north of where Lake Bluff Central School now stands.” (Page 7, Vliet)

“The location of the first church in the town on the Dwyer property, a few rods from the Dwyer house, added to the importance of this spot as a neighborhood rendezvous, and the competent matron and her brilliant brother made it a center of intellectual and social influence for thirty years or more”. (Page 467, Halsey)

“It was at the house of Mrs. William Dwyer on the Green Bay Road he [father Guegnin] was found on that Sunday in the spring of 1842, by William Whitnal, ready to give real estate advice equally with religious instruction. At that spot on the Green Bay Road, the first church building was put up for him in 1844” (Page 666, Halsey)

“In the small “God’s Acre” about it lie buried in unmarked graves the McCormicks and Lavins and other early settlers. This church stood a little south of the residence of Mrs. Dwyer, and the site may be found today about one hundred and twenty rods north of the electric line from Lake Bluff to Rondout.” (P. 675, Halsey)

This distance was calculated with the help of the Village Engineer using an old 1939 aerial photo. The spot was measured and marked 250 feet south of the old pipe marking the northern boundary of the school property. When Field Museum archeologists Dr. Scott Demel and Dr. Ryan Williams came out, a limited ground penetrating radar study picked up what they thought was possibly a foundation very near (38 feet south) of the first spot and set back from the chain link fence by Green Bay Road about 54 feet. This is about same distance as the historic structure just over the property line on the next property to the north. 


Lake County Illinois in 1841 (P 28, Halsey) shows a structure along what is now Green Bay Road (called Chicago-Milwaukee road on this map)

Meads identifies the structure shown on the Halsey map in his book “How it all Began,” as “Dwyer’s Tavern and Stage Relay Station, established in 1837 by William Dwyer and his wife, Mary and her brother Dr. Richard Murphy” (P. 26, Meads).

Plat Map of 1861—Shows a structure on Mary Dwyer’s Green Bay Road property, which could be either the tavern or the church. There is also a church symbol farther south on the right hand side of Green Bay Road. Many have asked why the marker on this seems out of place. The best answer we can find is that many old maps are full of these kinds of errors. 

Plat Map of 1873---Shows a structure again on Mary Dwyer’s property where the road curves to the north. There is no church symbol on this map.

Plat Map of 1885---The property has changed owners to Ellen (Dwyer) Strong, daughter of William and Mary Dwyer. There is still a rectangle present. The southern portion of the property at this time had been sold off to Condell. There is no church symbol on this map.

Plat Map of 1907---Shows Robert Dady owning the property that was owned by Condell on the 1885 plat map. Above that, the property that once owned by Ellen Strong now belongs to Young. There is no rectangular symbol, but instead in its place is a church symbol on the Young property (the Northern half of the former Dwyer property).

Deed Descriptions

1844—This deed from the Lake County Courthouse shows the land that William and Mary Dwyer and Dr. Richard Murphy settled on in 1837 and purchased from the United States of America. It is the property the tavern was on, and includes the land donated to the Catholic Church for the church and graveyard. Document # 76258; Grantees—William Dwyer; Grantor—United States of Am.; Kind of Instrument—patent; Description of property—SW ¼ ; Sec. Or Lot—17; Twp or block 44 R’ge 12 Date of Instrument—July 4, 1844 Date of filing 11-15-1899

Recorded Book—122 ; Page 456

1916---The Catholic Bishop of Chicago sold the piece of property that the Dwyers and Dr. Murphy gave to the Church to Dady. Located in Grantors Book C, Document # 167502; Grantor Catholic Bishop of Chicago; Grantees; Robert Dady; Kind of instrument –Q.C.D.; Consideration—1 Description of property—part SW1/4; Sec or lot 17; twp or block 44; R’ge 12; October 9 1916 Recorded Book 211 page 78. 

The handwritten document No.167502 filed October 9th 1916 was also obtained from the courthouse and further describes the property as

“That portion of the southwest quarter of Section seventeen (17) Township forty four (44) North Range twelve (12) East of the Third Principal Meridian, described as follows: Beginning at a stake northeast of the Catholic Church and running thence westerly eleven (11) rods by an old burned tree, thence southerly by a lge oak tree thirteen rods, thence easterly to a stake near the road, seventeen rods and thence along said road fourteen (14) rods to the place of beginning and containing one and one half (1 ½) acres more or less”. 

The measurements on the above archaic deed description were drawn out. The distance of 11 rods west was measured from the old pipe on the property line between the School property and the adjacent property to the north. Eleven rods west goes slightly into the beginning of the woods. This is the farthest west the church property seemed to be. Because of the curve in the road, if 11 rods is measured beginning further south, the edge pulls farther east. 

Oral Histories

The Skeleton Story

During construction of Central School, there was a story of a skeleton being dug up. The following interview was done by Dr. Michael Peters September 17, 2003 over the telephone.

      John Sackerson was born in 1954 and grew up in Lake Bluff. He was interviewed regarding his father’s recollection of bones uncovered during the construction of Central School. Because of advanced age, his father no longer recalls many of the details of the story. John Sackerson described the story as it was told to him by his father at the time it occurred.

      Gilbert Sackerson was born July 4, 1917 in Iron Mountain, Michigan and came to Lake Forest in 1947 where he ran a restaurant from 1947-1951. He then worked for the Lake Bluff School District as Chief Custodian until he retired in 1979. He currently resides in Iron Mountain Michigan. John Sackerson recalls his father telling him the story of bones uncovered during construction of Central School. He recalls that his father first told him the story around the time it occurred, but that they have discussed it since then. 

      “I don’t remember what phase of excavation, but it was a couple of weeks into the project after they dug for the footings of the basement. A “Cat” operator (bulldozer) uncovered some bones, turned pale, and left.” He never returned to the work site. John Sackerson was told this story by his father around the same time it occurred possibly in the fall of 1966. It was his father’s impression that they were human bones. “I talked to my dad about this after the first time you called (about 2 months ago), and he remembered the contractor called Howard West (the architect) right away.” They were concerned there might be more bones, but they never saw any more. “That’s all my dad remembered.” John Sackerson did not know what happened to the bones or whether the event was pursued by the police or any outside agency. He thinks the bones were uncovered in the area of the ball field as it was being made level.

      John Sackerson described the area before Central School was built. “We used to hunt rabbits there. It was mostly swampy and boggy my dad thought it would be a problem (building the school there). I know they brought in a lot of fill.” I lived on the east side but we used to ride our bikes there and watch what they were doing.

The Location of the Graves

Early 1900’s, “Leopold Grost who was born in 1896 and grew up in Lake Bluff recalled seeing several gravestones in the area during his boyhood. All of these have disappeared except for a small flat limestone marker recently found face down in a swampy area nearby”. (Page 17, Vleit)


Leopold Grost’s grandson, Stephen Grost was interviewed over the telephone on September 17, 2003 by Dr. Michael Peters. The following is what Dr. Peters writes:

      Stephen Grost is a 42 year old firefighter/paramedic for the City of Lake Forest who was born in Lake Bluff and grew up at 108 W. Center Ave. He was interviewed regarding his grandfather Leopold Grost who is cited by Elmer Vliet as having seen gravestones north of Central School.

      Leopold Grost was born in 1895 and died in 1981. He lived at 230 North Ave. His parents immigrated separately from Germany and net in Waukegan or Lake Bluff. His father worked for the Cloes brickyard while his mother worked in one of the Lake Bluff hotels. Leopold Grost started work as an electrician and had a small shop on Center or Scranton but then started work for the Village of Lake Bluff around the time of the late depression. “I think he was superintendent of public works. He was also the fire chief for a good number of years. My grandfather took over (as fire chief) from Charles Helming and Tom Evert took over from him. He was retired when I was growing up. I think he retired around 1957.“ My parents were divorced and my dad lived with my grandparents so “we were always going between both houses.”

      Soon after Central School was built, around 1969, I was driving with my grandfather on Greenbay Road to Waukegan. He pointed to the woods near the softball field and said, ‘There was a graveyard there.’ He used to walk all over the place as a child and remembered it. “He also mentioned something about tombstones.”

      Steve Grost does not think his grandfather ever saw Elmer Vliet’s book nor does he recall his grandfather being interviewed for the book. 

Another Witness to Tombstones

1905 (April) “History of the Presbyterian Church, Lake Forest, Illinois” by the Pastor James G.K. McClure was published. In it is written: “…that so many persons from Ireland, adherents of the Roman Catholic faith, settled in this region. To the north they formed a community sufficiently large to have a log church, in the vicinity of Lake Bluff station, on the Green Bay road, as early as 1837, Father O’Mara being the first priest. Some graves may still be seen on the Wm. Dwyer place, indicating the location of the dismantled building. This church was one of a series of churches built between Chicago and Milwaukee to accommodate the Irish Roman Catholics.” P. 8

Tombstones in the Woods

Barbara (Splix) D’Hulst was interviewed June 24, 2003 by Mike Peters and Cathy Spencer. 

Barbara Splix was born in Chicago. She was the last of four children born to Irene and Michael Splix. She had two older brothers who were born first, then a while later her sister Blanche (she had blond hair) and then herself, with brown hair.

She was born in Chicago. Her family at some point moved to Lake Bluff to the Quigley Estate, where her father was the gardener. The Quigley Estate was the property located directly north of what is now the Central School property, and formerly the Dwyer’s and churches properties. They lived in a house on the property. There was a porch on front. She attended school in Lake Bluff, and was in the first class of Lake Forest High School. She walked to school always under the protection of boys. The days were taken up with school and chores. Her brothers shared a bedroom that had heat, but her sister and she shared a bedroom that had no heat.

The Quigley’s had dogs and a horse, which they kept in the barn. The barn faced the “extra lot” next door. The vacant lot was just a wild natural place. They were always in there in the summer. She recalls making a rock garden with her dad in there until she came upon a snake.

She recalls a pond that had water in it all year in the woods area of the lot next door [This is the area that is now a swamp, with a drain having been installed and is only wet part of the year]. She skated with her brothers and sister on this pond. There may have been others that skated, as all of them had friends, including one by the name of Helen Jorgeson.

There were trees around the pond. It was a lovely place to play. There was a shack in the back of the empty property, which they took over and played in.

There were three gravestones right next to the fence, old, well worn, rounded at the tops, quite close to the fence. One was a child’s gravestone, and two were grown ups. The child’s was smaller and flat. It was also cockeyed. She was always very respectful of the stones, and careful not to step where she thought the grave was. She admired the care that seemed to have been given to the markers. She believed they marked graves.

As you went through the gate into the empty property, on the right side of the gate [west of the gate] were the stones. The fence ran east-west on the property line. The gate was away from the pond. The stones were along the property line against the fence.

The cottage where she lived was set back off the road. The porch faced Green Bay Road. To get to the pond, she would go south and west. 

She said there was a big oak tree south of the markers away from the tombstones about 15 feet.

Lost Tombstone Found

1975-1980---Sometime prior to 1985 (according to Elmer Vliet) a tombstone was found in the swampy area of the woods. Another story places the finding of the stone on the property just to the north not far over the border. Both stories it was reported to have been dug up with a shovel. This stone is now located in the Vliet Museum.

Possible Grave Marker Found

1985-1990 (probably 1987) Kathy O’Hara, local school teacher at the time (now principal of LB Middle School and co founder of the Vliet Center for local history) found a poured cement block with a cross, which may have marked the location of a grave. She found it at the edge of the woods, located at the edge of the softball field. This artifact is now located in the Vliet Museum.

List of Sources Cited

These are the sources used for the “Dwyer Settlement Research Summary” , some of which are referred to in this paper. I have added further documentation on the historic maps. All of these Plat Maps are available in the Lake County Museum, Lake County History Archives.

Dady's Affidavit. Document No. 167505, Lake County Courthouse, October 9, 1916 

Deed Record No. 211 No. 167502. Lake County Courthouse, October 9, 1916

Doyle, Patrick. Meehan's Settlement. November 25, 1897 (Located in Waukegan Historical Society).

Harlow, George H. (Secretary of State). Illinois Legislative Directory. Springfield, Ill, H.W. Rokker, 1881

Haines, Elijah M. Historical and Statistical Sketches of Lake County.Waukegan: E.G. Howe. 1852

Halsey, John J., LL. C.A. A History of Lake County Illinois. Chicago: Harmegnies & Howell, 1912

A History of St. Patrick. St. Patrick's Church in Lake Forest

McClure, Pastor James G.K. History of the Presbyterian Church Lake Forest Illinois. April 1905

Meads, Joe. How It All Began. Indianna: Unigraphic Inc., 1976

Ogle, George A., A Standard Atlas of Lake Couny, Illinois. Chicago: George A. Ogle, 1907

The Past and Present of Lake County Illinois. Chicago, Wm. Le Baron & Co. 1877

Peters, Dr. Michael. Oral History from John Sackerson. September 17, 2003

Peters, Dr. Michael. Oral History from Steven Grost. September 17, 2003

Peters, Dr. Michael and Spencer, Cathy. Oral History from Barbara (Splix) D'Hulst. June 24, 2003

Hale, George & J.N. Truesdell. Map of Lake County Illinois 1861. Waukegan Courthouse

Portraits and Biographical Albumof Lake County Illinois. Chicago: Lake City Publishing Co.,1891

Rinehart, Geoge. "Robert Dady --- The Leader County Sheep Farming Once Big". Waukegan News-Sun Saturday, Dec.2, 1967

Van de Velde, Bishop. Diary. (located in the Archdiocese of Chicago)

Vliet, Elmer. Lake Bluff the First 100 Years. Chicago: R.R. Donelley and Sons & Co., 1985


1861 L. Gast Bro. & Co. Lith., St Louis, MO

1873 Frost & McLennan, Chicago, IL

1885 H.R. Page & Co., Chicago, IL

1907 Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, IL

This is the second report on this project by Cathy Spencer, M. A. & Michael Peters, M. D., all of this is copyright by Cathy & Michael. Do not copy and keep or reformat or you will be in trouble. Thanks!!!

The purpose of this report is to summarize historical research done over the last three years on the Central School/Lake Bluff Park District property.

Much time was spent doing meticulous research including searching old history books, finding documents in the Lake county Courthouse, and libraries, interviewing people, studying early census records, searching cemeteries and burial records of local roman Catholic cemeteries, doing small core samples and probing of the soil, looking through old junk and trash heaps in the woods. The Field Museum of Natural History archeologist Dr. Scott Demel and Dr. P. Ryan Williams also came out for a brief limited ground penetrating radar study.

The results of all these studies have led to an appreciation of the rich and interesting history of the site and the approximate location of the church/graveyard property. We have not been able to rule out the presence of graves. All evidence collected thus far strongly supports the notion that the pioneers who were buried in the cemetery long ago still remain buried here in unmarked graves. Because of this possibility, we would like to see a thorough ground penetrating radar study conducted to determine if any persons remains buried in the old graveyard.

We hope that by putting this information forward, that you too may conclude that this is a place of special historic significance worthy of a permanent marker, and that and that if there are remains discovered that they are given the proper recognition and treated with the highest respect.

In 1837 when the land in this area was opened to settlement, Irish immigrants William Dwyer and his wife Mary, and Mary's brother Dr. Richard Murphy bought the piece of property located on that which Central School now occupies. They ran a tavern/stage coach stop which for thirty years was a lively hub of political and social activity. It became known as the Dwyer Settlement.

Dr. Murphy became the area's first state legislator. He served with Abraham Lincoln. An early description describes him saying, "He acquired a high reputation as a debater and a man of marked ability. As a public speaker he was forceful and fluent, as a writer on subjects of public concern, he had no superior in his day in this part of the country. He was man of learning and ranked high in his profession as a physician. He was a formidable competitor of John Wentworth for congress in 1843. Halsey, pages 468-9. "He made his mark in the legislature and is credited with having drafted the early school laws of Illinois and securing their enactment almost without amendment. He was our first Justice of the Peace in 1837" (Halsy, p. 469)
The Dwyers and Dr. Murphy were not only very influential in politics of the area, but they were also devout Catholics. Church services were held at the tavern by Father Guegnin, a circuit riding priest. Then in 1844, the Dwyers and Dr. Murphy deeded an acre and a half of their property to the Roman Catholic Church for use as a church and cemetery. A small log church named St. Anne's was built. On June 09, 1849, Bishop Van De Velde visited the church and wrote of it in his diary, "Said mass and preached at the small Church of Dwyer's Settlement about six miles from the Little Fort" [Waukegan.]

Years later, in the 12850's, St. Anne's church merged with the church at "Meehan's Settlement". They joined forces and built a new and bigger church near the corner of the Waukegan Road and Route 60. In 1859, St. Anne's was abandoned.

There were reports that gravestones were still seen on the property around 1905. Lake Bluff resident Leopold Grost's boyhood recollections of seeing them are docume
nted in Elmer Vliet's history of Lake Bluff. [Vliet, page 17] In 2003, Leopold Grost's grandson Steven Grost stated in an interview, "Soon after Central School was built, around 1969, I was driving with my grandfather on Green Bay Road to Waukegan. he pointed to the woods near the softball field and said, "There was a graveyard over there". He used to walk all over the place as a child and remembered it." [Peters]

Another witness was Pastor James McClure (of the Presbyterian church in Lake Forest). he wrote in his book entitl
ed "History of the Presbyterian Church" published in 1905, "...that so many persons from Ireland, adherents of the Roman Catholic faith, settled in this region. To the north they formed a community sufficiently large to have a log church, in the vicinity.......Some graves may still be seen on the William Dwyer place indicating the location of the dismantled building"; McClure, Page 8.

The 1907 Plat map shows a church building on the property, and it also says, "Church" next to it.

The image to the right is scanned from a paper copy sent to me from Cathy Spencer. I'm leaving it big for easier viewing. If you have slow internet connection sorry about that. but thought would make it easier to read the map. it's not a really clear view and I'm having trouble figuring out where the church is. So, on with Cathy's story.

In 1912, John Halsey's book entitled "History of lake County" was published. In it, he writes of this cemetery, "In the small 'God's Acre" about it lie buried in unmarked graves the McCormick's and Lavin's and other early settlers. p 675." One of Halsey's references was Thomas Dwyer, a son of William and Mary Dwyer. He grew up on the property and was highly regarded member of the community and a Civil War veteran. It seems that sometime between 1905 and 1912 the gravestones disappeared.

Foxie's Note: smaller than original for viewing purposes. What is on here is mentioned below:

In 1916, Robert Dady, a wealthy farmer who lived in Waukegan, persuaded Archbishop George Mundelein to sell him the church/graveyard property. Dady already had owned the southern portion of the original Dwyer property next to the church/cemetery property since 1886 or for thirty years. He claimed in an affidavit that his own mother and father were formerly buried on that property but were exhumed and moved in 1886. He claimed that he was informed and believed that no other bodies were now or within the past thirty years buried on that site. He does not say that anyone else had ever been buried there. He does not say that anyone else was ever exhumed and moved. There is no record we could find to indicate that any bodies had been exhumed. (Affidavit from the Lake County Courthouse is attached.)

Dady's account does not mesh with other historical accounts previously documented. The gravestones were witnessed on the property while Dady was the property owner next door for many years. They seem to have disappeared a few years before he signed the affidavit.
Knowing where the the chu
rch may have stood helps us to make sense of the archaic deed describing the property the Dwyer's were giving to the church. It is described in Deed recorded in the County Courthouse as:
"That part or portion of the southwest quarter of Section seventeen township forty four North Range Twelve East of the Third Principal Meridian, described as follows: Beginning at a stake northeast of the Catholic Church and running thence westerly eleven rods by an old burned tree, thence southerly by a large oak tree thirteen rods, thence easterly to a stake near the road, seventeen roads and thence along said road fourteen rods to the place of beginning and containing one and one hal
f acres more or less. Deed Record #211" This is out of context in Cathy's written report because I'm putting it here on account of it's the same plot of ground and what it says on the deed that Robert Dady bought from the Catholic Church, the one that St. Anne's merged with probably, is my guess. So, he would of bought the Church and Cemetery grounds.

In the 1930's, tombstones were still seen in the nearby area. Barbara Splix D'Hulst was interviewed June 24, 2003. She used to play on the former Dwyer property as a child. She lived on the property just to the north. She used to playin the woods just west of the church/graveyard property. She recollected, "There were three gravestones right next to the fence, old well worn, rounded at the tops, quite close to the fence." She further stated, "One was a child's which was smaller and flat and cockeyed." The other two she remembered to be markers of grownups. (Peters and Spencer)-- These stones have since disappeared.

As Central School was being built there was a story of a skeleton having been dug up. This was told by Gilbert Sackerson who worked for the Lake Bluff School District as Head Custodian. This was a story that was known by Central School teachers and kids at the new school. His son John was interviewed in 2003. He stated that his father had told him the story at the time it happened and that they had discussed it since then. Briefly summed up, he stated, "a cat operator bulldozer uncovered some bones, turned pale and left" He thinks it was in the area of the ball field as it was being made level. they were recognized to be human bones. (Peters)

Between 1975-80, a tombstone was discovered nearby the site. It was the marker of a baby named Andrew Steven Wetzel, who was born December 09, 1848, and died January 03, 1849. this is now located in the Vliet Museum.

Kathleen O'Hara, local historian and long time teacher and principal, found a poured cement block with a Celtic cross on it along the edge of the woods near the softball field. It is thought it could have been a grave marker. It is also now located in the Vliet Museum.

We looked through old cemeteries for any McCormick's or Lavin's with the help of the manager of Ascension Cemetery, where records of Roman Catholic cemeteries in the area are kept. We were unable to find anyone with either family name in the appropriate time period. We were unable to find evidence that the cemetery was ever moved.

The location of the tavern, chu
rch graveyard property was calculated taking various clues from history books and the deed. There are numerous references to the location of the structures. One very helpful description was from Halsey, who wrote, "This church stood a little south of the residence of Mrs. Dwyer, and the site may be found today about one hundred and twenty rods north of the electric line from Lake Bluff to Rondout."

This distance was calculated with the help of an old aerial photo and the village engineer. We marked the approximate spot of the former church and when the Field Museum came with their ground penetrating radar, they found what they believed could be the foundation of a structure near the calculated spot.

Then go the Deed info above.& come back or just stay here.

There is enough information to get an app
roximate idea of where the church cemetery property was located and where the church stood. Exactly where the graves were is uncertain, but evidence indicates the most likely place may be near the edge of the woods by the softball field.

The Field Museum archeologist Dr. Scott Demel and Dr. P. Ryan Williams as well as a bone specialist did a small study for a half a day in limited areas with ground penetrating radar equipment. Unfortunately their equipment was calibrated incorrectly for the heavy clay soil type, and was penetrating only 2-4 feet deep. It should have been calibrated to penetrate 6 feet deep. This error was not realized until after the filed work was done. Because the possible foundation was near the surface, it was picked up. Dr. Demel stated that they did not rule out the presence of any graves because pioneer graves would be six feet deep.

Letter says & is from:
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
1 Old State Capitol Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 62701-1512

Letter is to:
lake County 350 West Washington Avenue, Lake Bluff
Section 16, Township: 44 North, Range: 12 East
HSRPA 2007-1
Re-locating an Unmarked Cemetery Prior to Public Elementary School Construction
15 November 2007
Jane Taylor
Director of Business services
Lake Bluff SD 65
121 E. Sheridan Place
Lake Bluff, Illinois 60044

Dear Mrs. Taylor:

We are in receipt of a draft report of archaeological investigations conducted under the Human Skeletal Remains Protection ACt (HSRPA) (20 ILCS 3440; 17 IAC 4170) Permit #2007-11 referenced above. The report, prepared on your behalf by Dr. Thomas Loebel, CAGIS Archaeological Consulting Services, University of Illinois at Chicago, indicated that Phase II archaeological testing was conducted in three areas of interest to determine if any portion of the former St. Anne's Church or associated cemetery was present on the elementary school property. The areas investigated were determined by the geophysical testing results and local historical accounts. The archaeological testing was negative, but a possible gravestone fragment was recovered fro the wooded lot.

Our staff has reviewed the draft report and finds that the field investigations are in accordance with the HSRPA permit and meet the stipulations of the implementing regulations (17 IAC 4170) Dr. Loebel's report concluded that although no graves were located during the Phase II investigation, the possibility exists that unmarked graves could be present on the elementary school property.

This reporting satisfies the stipulations set forth in the HSRPA. Furthermore, the Lake Bluff school district has done their due diligence under the law with the completion of the archaeological survey. Please retain this letter in your files as evidence of compliance with the above referenced act. You may proceed with your project as planned. However, please be advised that if any human skeletal remains are encountered during any phase of construction that all work must stop immediately. You must contact the county coroner and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

If you have any questions, please contact Dawn Cobb, HSRPA Coordinator, at 217.558.8973.


William L. Wheeler, Associate Director & Legal Counsel.

Next the report from by Dr. Thomas Loebel, CAGIS Archaeological Consulting Services, University of Illinois at Chicago. click here to read his report. Thanks for your time~




Monday, April 14, 2008 10:21:38 AM

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