The Evergreen Memorial Cemetery founded in the early 1820′s, is a historic cemetery nestled in the heart of Bloomington, IL. The 87 acre cemetery begins with a simple entrance, winding avenues, towering trees and an elaborate mausoleum. It is a wonderful example of preservation, culture and tradition in Central Illinois.
History of the Avenue of Flags
The “Avenue of Flags” was originally envisioned in 1977 by a group of Veterans from the McLean County Memorial AMVETS Post 270. The original funding came from and was managed by the AMVETS. That was followed by purchases or donations from individuals or organizations. At that time the cemetery was under the control of the City of Bloomington and the Avenue of Flags was managed by Lyle Converse who served on the Board of Trustees at the cemetery.
All the original flags were showing signs of wear and were replaced in 2011 with more weather resistant flags. Some of the original poles are still used and as the Avenue has grown larger and newer poles have been purchased. Each flagpole is adorned with a plaque that includes the veteran’s information. We currently have 160 flags on the Avenue with room to grow. If you wish to honor your loved ones service to our country please contact Evergreen Memorial Cemetery office.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery will likely continue to be one of the largest Avenue of Flags in this area.
The cemetery still has several veterans’ coffin flags that were flown on the original avenue and are available for pickup by family members.
Evergreen Memorial Cemetery is one of the richest historical resources in our Community. People from all walks of life are buried in this over 180 year old cemetery. Rich, poor, famous, infamous or forgotten alike, all are buried here. Evergreen provides a resting place for members of our community.
A few of the famous historical figures buried here are:
- Adlai Stevenson I – Vice President of the United States
- David Davis – Supreme Court Justice
- Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourne – 19th Century’s greatest baseball pitcher
- Dorothy Gage – Dorothy Gage was the inspiration for Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
- David Haggard, Revolutionary War Soldier
- Carl and Julia Vrooman, orginal owners of the Vroomam Mansion
- Marie Litta, Madme Minnie Salzman & Grace B. Wagner, World renowned Opera Singers