The photographs here were taken by undertaker Clay Krueger, of Blue Island's Krueger Funeral Home (shown below), on the day of the final burial recorded at Bachelors Grove Cemetery: the 1989 interment of the ashes of Robert Shields. The Shields family stone is one of the largest stones remaining at Bachelors Grove Cemetery, but visitors have only seen it toppled for at least a generation, as shown here in contemporary seasonal photographs. Here, the stone still stands intact, though badly desecrated.
Photos Courtesty of Dale Kaczmarek and the Ghost Research Society. All Rights Reserved.
South side Chicago area native Dale Kaczmarek is one of the most active, established and internationally known paranormal investigators in the world. His organization, The Ghost Research Society, was one of the earliest and continues to be one of the most active and accessible organizations of hobbyist ghost hunters in existence, though Dale and a number of members have established themselves as professional paranormal researchers and influential paranormal theorists. An avid photographer, electronics expert and documenter of the paranormal, Dale captured some of the oldest and only known historic photographs of Bachelors Grove Cemetery. We are honored that he agreed to share them with us for the "Lost in the Woods" exhibit.
Photos Courtesy of Phil and Karen Pursley. All Rights Reserved.
Phil Pursley shared these photographs with us in the Summer of 2013. They had never been seen by the public before. The clarity and graphic destruction of these photos were astounding--truly like finding a treasure. Phil describes the circumstances under which he and Karen came to capture these historic images:
" I and my future wife Karen Ennenbach Pursley took these probably in the late winter/early Spring of 1969. At the time we were both teaching grade school and used to love going out on photo shoots -- sometimes to cemeteries. While going to college I worked at a summer job with the South Cook County Mosquito Abatement District. I became aware of the destruction that was going on at this iconic cemetery. This was a perfect place to take some black and white photos that I developed with my own equipment. I think these were taken with tri-x film (400 speed) because of the gloomy day."
Robert Patterson is a longtime advocate of Bachelors Grove and local history. We were astounded when for the first time he publicly shared the rare and invaluable photographs below, taken during a number of excursions to Bachelors Grove Cemetery and the surrounding forest in the mid-1970s.