Cemetery notes and/or description: This Cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places. Land for the cemetery (25 acres) was set aside in the original 1857 plat for Lake Forest, founded by Chicago Presbyterians looking for a lakeside community in which to establish institutions of higher learning and homes in a verdant, harmonious setting. A Cemetery Association was created in 1859 in accordance with IL Statutes approved in 1855. At the time, it was called Forest Cemetery. In October, 1860, subscriptions totalling $425 were collected for the improvement of the cemetery, with a $25 subscription buying a lot. Ever since, purchase of the lots and generous gifts have resulted in the impeccable care of this cemetery.
The Cemetery was mapped in 1860 using early park design aesthetics: curving, meandering lanes, natural topography, and a pastoral environment. In 1882, William LeBaron Jenney, known for designing Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, revised the original plat. He moved the entrance from Spruce to Lake Road, and he established an outer circulation road that winds around the cemetery. The Cemetery was officially opened for burials in 1882. Some people who had earlier been interred in Chicago were re-interred in Lake Forest.
In 1900, Ossian Cole Simonds, a founder of the Amer Soc of Landscape Architects and the superintendent of Graceland Cemetery, re-planned the site and perfected its grading, its broad open spaces, and its simple groups of trees (often low-limbed) and shrubs. He enclosed the property with plantings, creating more privacy, and used plantings to frame attractive vistas of Lake Michigan and its ravines.
The Barrell Memorial Entrance Gate was created in 1919 in the Gothic Revival style. James Roy Allen was its architect; the iron gates were made by Samuel Yellin.