BN Life

BN Our Story – Evergreen Cemetery Walk

Evergreen Cemetery serves as the final resting place for many of Bloomington-Normal’s most respected citizens: senators, Civil War generals and hall of fame athletes. Most of its inhabitants, however, are the regular, day-to-day citizens of the past that contributed to the growth, diversity and success of McLean County in many ways. For the past twenty-five years, the Evergreen Cemetery Walk has been educating locals and visitors about the significance of these people and the part they played in shaping McLean County. The walk, which is presented by the McLean County Museum of History, will take place from October 5-6 and 12-13.

Costumed actors portray the individuals buried in the cemetery and will give a brief performance detailing their life. The featured stories at this year’s walk include the story of married couple Napoleon and Louise Calimese. Other stories will include Annie May Christian, a single, independent woman and enthusiastic leader of the local Amateur Musical Club, Ebenezer Wright, head of the western agency for the New York Juvenile Asylum, and Florence Kaywood, who spent 16 years caring for female prisoners and their children while serving as the police matron for the city.

The museum’s Director of Education Candace Summers stated that the importance of this event is not felt just locally, because the people that lived here have had an impact on history on a national and global scale. “The wider impact of the Evergreen Cemetery Walk can be felt throughout the state and nation. This award-winning, nationally recognized interpretive program has helped start cemetery walks throughout the country.” She added, “No one expected that this event would have the impact that it has had on our community and our shared attitude toward cemeteries. This event is a piece of history in its own right, and we hope that it continues for many more years to come!”

Tickets for this year’s Evergreen Cemetery Walk will go on sale on September 3 and can be purchased at the McLean County Museum of History, Evergreen Memorial Cemetery or online at Tickets are $17 for the general public, $15 for museum members and $5 for children and students with an ID.
For more information about all of the events happening in our area, visit our website at

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