2017 Cemetery Walk

The 2017 Bluff City Cemetery Walk took place on Sunday, September 24, 2017 from 11am-3pm. It was a great success and one we couldn’t have done without the help of countless volunteers and all of those who were in attendance.  See below for information from the day and stay tuned for information about the 2018 tour!

The annual Historic Bluff City Cemetery Walk in Elgin has been a tradition since 1987. The purpose of this event is to provide insight into Elgin’s unique history and to eliminate some of the uneasiness associated with cemeteries. The Elgin Area Historical Society organizes this much anticipated event that attracts nearly six hundred people a year. Visitors are generally taken on a 90 minute guided tour through the scenic Bluff City Cemetery to grave sites of former residents, portrayed by actors in period costumes.  Visitors will also learn about fascinating lives and various cemetery symbolism all while strolling the expansive cemetery grounds. Visitors to the cemetery walk are encouraged to plan for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Chairs will be available at each of the vignettes but visitors will be expected to walk and stay with their guide. Cemetery walk guides try their best to speak loudly but they do not carry any amplification equipment.

For the 30th Annual Cemetery Walk on September 24th, come meet some of the people who helped to make Elgin great: Fred Traub, one of Elgin’s first bakers; Laura Davidson Sears, a philanthropist for Elgin Academy; Gilbert Snow, inventor of the self-oiling windmill; Lois Wilcox, founder of the Elgin Woman’s Club that opened Sherman Hospital; Civil War General John S. Wilcox; and Libby Goll, creator of Resthaven Home for convalescent care.  There will also be vignettes.

For those with limited mobility to take the tour, there will be a free bus with an on-board guide.  Reservations for the bus are needed in advance.  There will also be a small food court with hot dogs, chips, drinks, popcorn and ice cream reasonably priced.


Last but not least, we also want to make sure to take a moment to thank all of our sponsors for the 2017 walk. We couldn’t do it without you.

O’Connor-Leetz Funeral Home
Symonds-Madison Funeral Home
James and Win Castoro
Dan and Karen Fox
Roxworthy Enterprises
Wait Ross Allanson/Laird Funeral Home
City of Elgin
Elgin Granite Works/St. Charles Memorial
EFS Foundation