Italian Cemetery

Location
Coal City, Grundy County, Illinois, USA
Memorials 38 added (3% photographed)

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The following was summarized, by permission of the author, from a longer article written by Eugene Bianchetta and published in the Coal City Courant October 28, 1992. Patricia Kennedy Max

Italian Cemetery of Coal City

The Coal City Italian Cemetery was a cemetery before it was Italian. Coal City was incorporated in 1881. The first recorded burial, a 9 month old child whose surname was Early, was on August 20, 1881. In the next 15 years there were several more burials.

On Jul 11, 1895 the Coal City Italian societies, Morale Beneficenza, Umberto Primo, Victorio Emanuele III, Tirotese Francesco Guiseppi, and Society Alpine, and the Carbon Hill society, Cristofo Columbo, joined together and purchased the cemetery land from the Buchanan family. On August 10, 1895 they formed the Italian Cemetery Association and registered with the Secretary of State of Illinois as a legal association to manage and maintain the cemetery.

Burials continued until 1912 although the land was unsuited for a cemetery because the water table was very high, making digging graves very difficult. There are about fifty grave sites, thirty one of them children under the age of 10. In the 1920s there was a failed attempt to move the graves and return the land to farming. On September 6, 1937, the Secretary of State filed a suit of dissolution against the cemetery association.

The center of the cemetery was marked with a four sided stone pyramid about five feet tall upon which stood a large wooden cross facing east and west. Four walking paths extended from the center on a north-south and east-west axis, dividing the cemetery into four sections. Most of the grave markers were either wooden or iron crosses. There were very few stones.

Today the cemetery is over grown with trees, blackberry bushes, and tall grass. The stones of the pyramid are spread around the ground near the center, and a tree grows where the cross would have been. The iron and wooden crosses and the gravestones, except for one stone belonging to Maria Pomatto Cavallo in the southeast section, are gone. The family reset that stone in concrete in April 1970.

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GPS Coordinates: 41.27597, -88.28

  • Added: 14 Oct 2016
  • Find A Grave Cemetery: #2625142