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Graceland Cemetery Tour–Vimbly
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Disclaimer: I was offered a free ticket for the tour, however all opinions and thoughts are, as always, my own.

First off – HAPPY OATMEAL DAY! Haha did you know October 29th is Oatmeal Day? Well it is! And to celebrate I have a new recipe for you… coming on tomorrow’s WIAW post! I know – brace yourselves. The excitement is overwhelming, right?..

So. Why would I want to take a tour of a cemetery? Creepy, right? Let me explain. I was contacted by Vimbly to try out their services. It’s a website where you can search for things to do in your city, and then you can buy your tickets right on their website.

  
What
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I really enjoyed how easy it was to find and book a tour on Vimbly. I liked it so much that I used it again to book the architecture tour I went on with my family on Sunday!

Although booked through Vimbly, the tour itself was given by Joyce Walks Chicago, which offers several other tours in the city.

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Here is a description of the tour from their website:



Graceland Cemetery was established in 1860. At that time, it was outside the city boundaries. Taking a stroll through Graceland Cemetery will take you back in time as you discover the history of some of Chicago’s famous politicians, architects, business leaders, philanthropists, and artists.  Some of the greats buried here include: Daniel Burnham, Potter and Bertha Honore Palmer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Ruth Page, and Louis Sullivan.

 

I chose the Graceland Cemetery tour because I was intrigued, I’d never been on a cemetery tour before, and I knew it would have a lot of Chicago history. Before we started, our tour guide gave us a map of the cemetery with a list of the grave sites we would visit and hear about on the tour.

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I was surprised at how beautiful the cemetery was! We learned that it had actually been designed that way. It’s a privately owned cemetery and the man who founded it wanted it to feel like a park, giving family members the experience of visiting their loved ones in a beautiful and uplifting space.

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The cemetery is run by a board, who make all aesthetic decisions. Unlike most cemeteries, you can’t place flowers, pinwheels, ribbons, flags, etc. on the gravesites. They’re very specific about what is and isn’t allowed.

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Although the cemetery was interesting, the part of the tour that I really came for was the history of Chicago, which I heard a lot about through the people who are in the cemetery. Since Graceland is such a beautiful and private cemetery, a lot of prominent characters from Chicago’s history are buried there.

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Our tour guide was absolutely fantastic. She had an incredibly upbeat attitude (which helped since it was so cold out…), a real passion for history, and a lot of great stories. What I loved about the tour is that she didn’t just recite facts to us, she told us stories. If only my history classes in school had been so interesting!

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Despite the cold, I really enjoyed the tour and would love to sign up for more. I’m already looking into the one in the Gold Coast area, which is another more historical area with large houses. Beautiful architecture and a lot of Chicago history!

I had a great experience on both my tour and with Vimbly and would definitely recommend using the website if it’s offered where you live!

 

Have you been on a historical tour before?

Have you ever been on a tour of a cemetery?



 

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