Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery

Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery was founded in 2004 to promote the historical significance, enhance the beauty and preserve the artistic heritage of Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
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Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2004. Our mission is to promote the historical significance, enhance the beauty and preserve the artistic heritage of Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. We raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Cemetery. We also hold regular meetings with educational programs, conduct walking tours of the Cemetery, and publish a quarterly newsletter, Heritage Happenings.

Mission: To promote the historical significance, enhance the beauty and preserve the artistic heritage of Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.

Join us Sunday, August 23rd at 1:30 pm central time for our presentation "Lasting Images: History of the J. A. Dedouch C...
08/22/2020

Join us Sunday, August 23rd at 1:30 pm central time for our presentation "Lasting Images: History of the J. A. Dedouch Company." You can watch online here on our page or join us via zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81987479588
Meeting ID: 819 8747 9588

08/13/2020

Friends of BNC election: If you're a member of Friends, you recently received your ballot for officers as an insert in the latest newsletter. Unfortunately, the ballot has the wrong address for submitting. Please mail your ballots to: Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery, 5255 N. Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60630. Thank you!

If you didn't get to see Lookingglass Theatre's production of "Eastland: A New Musical" in summer 2012, the theatre is h...
08/10/2020
EASTLAND: AN ORIGINAL MUSICAL WATCH PARTY

If you didn't get to see Lookingglass Theatre's production of "Eastland: A New Musical" in summer 2012, the theatre is hosting a watch party Thursday, August 20 at 7 pm central time.
https://lookingglasstheatre.org/event/eastland-watch-party/

As our next offering in the Chicago Stories initiative, Lookingglass invites audiences to revisit a largely unknown piece of history that unfolded in the heart of the city. On the evening of Thursday, August 20 at 7pm CT, you’re invited to a free online public fundraiser of our acclaimed productio...

Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery
08/07/2020

Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery

It's a beautiful summer at Bohemian National Cemetery, thanks to the First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America, Gethsema...
08/07/2020

It's a beautiful summer at Bohemian National Cemetery, thanks to the First Czechoslovak Garden Club of America, Gethsemane Garden Center, BNC personnel, and our volunteers!

Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery's cover photo
08/07/2020

Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery's cover photo

Bořek Lizec, current Czech ambassador to Canada and previously Consul General in Chicago, announces an opportunity to vo...
07/17/2020

Bořek Lizec, current Czech ambassador to Canada and previously Consul General in Chicago, announces an opportunity to vote for a day to be designated by the Czech Republic to celebrate Czechs Abroad.

Select a date for / Vyberte datum pro
DAY OF CZECHS ABROAD / DEN ČECHŮ V ZAHRANIČÍ

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Mr. Tomáš Petříček, greatly appreciates the crucial role of Czechs living abroad in our history as well today. He will, therefore, propose to the Czech government to declare "Day of Czechs Abroad" that would be annually commemorated.
/ Ministr zahraničních věcí ČR Tomáš Petříček - ministr zahraničí České republiky dlouhodobě vnímá zásadní roli krajanů v našich dějinách i naší současnosti. Domnívá se, že Česká republika by si význam svých krajanů měla pravidelně připomínat. Navrhne proto vládě prohlásit jeden den v roce za „Den Čechů v zahraničí“.

As many of you know, I have great respect for the role of Czech-Americans and Czech-Canadians in the creation of the modern Czech statehood in 1918. Without their help, Czechoslovakia would probably not have come into existence. Of course, their support has remained essential from then on, not at least during World War II, the Cold War and today. In this regard, I wish to personally invite you to help select the most suitable date for the Day of Czechs Abroad.
/ Jak mnozí z vás víte, velice si vážím role Čechoameričanů a Čechokanaďanů při vzniku novodobé české státnosti. Bez jejich pomoci by Československo pravděpodobně nevzniklo. Jejich podpora samozřejmě od té doby zůstala velice významná, přes období 2. světové války, Studené války až do dnešních dnů. V této souvislosti bych vás rád osobně také pozval, abyste pomohli pro Den Čechů v zahraničí vybrat to nejvhodnější datum.

You can choose from the following selection / Vybírat můžete z následujícíh možností:

OPTION / VOLBA 1
December 23 (1989) – The day when foreign ministers Hans Dietrich Genscher and Jiri Dienstbier cut through the barbed wire of the Rozvadov -Waidhaus Czech-German border crossing, in the tumultuous days of 1989, reuniting the long-divided nations.
23. prosinec (1989) - Přestřižení hraničního drátu u Rozvadova. Představuje symbolický pád železné opony. Ostnatý drát společně přestřihli tehdejší ministři zahraničních věcí Jiří Dienstbier a Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

OPTION / VOLBA 2
July 1 (1932) – marks the first congress of Czechs and Slovaks abroad which took place in July 1932, and the meeting of compatriots in 1998 within the first Week of Czechs Abroad
/ 1. červenec (1932) - Den návratu zahraničních Čechů. Připomíná první sjezd zahraničních Čechů a Slováků, který se uskutečnil 1. až 3. července 1932, a setkání krajanů v roce 1998 v rámci prvního Týdne zahraničních Čechů.

OPTION / VOLBA 3
March 7 (1850) - March 7th is the birthday of Czechoslovakia‘s first president T.G. Masaryk. The first Masaryk Day of Czechs and Slovaks Abroad was celebrated in 1934 under the auspices of President Masaryk to highlight the community’s crucial role in the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia.
/ 7. březen (1850) - „Masarykův den československého zahraničí“. Navázáno na tradici tzv. Masarykových dnů československého zahraničí, které připomínaly roli krajanů při vzniku československého státu. První Masarykův den československého zahraničí se konal v roce 1934 pod patronací TGM s úmyslem dokázat, že československé zahraničí je "živou větví jednoho národního kmene". Masarykovy dny se konaly až do roku 1938 a poté v roce 1947 pod záštitou prezidenta Beneše. Zatím poslední Masarykův den československého zahraničí se odehrál již pod vlivem února 1948.

OPTION / VOLBA 4
April 17 (1826) - Vojtěch Náprstek is considered to be the spiritual father of Czech journalism in America and the first “consul” of all Czech expats. He encouraged Czech Americans to organize and publish their own Czech newspapers.
17. duben (1826) - Vojtěch Náprstek jako „český konzul“. Vojtěch Náprstek je považován za konzula všech krajanů. Jako účastník revolučních bouří roku 1848 uprchl před zatčením do USA, kde prožil deset let. Jeho knihkupectví se stalo střediskem pro přistěhovalce z Čech, byl též iniciátorem vzniku prvních českých spolků. V roce 1858 se vrátil do Prahy a rodinný pivovar „U Halánků“ na Betlémském náměstí proměnil v centrum české inteligence a posléze na České průmyslové (dnešní Náprstkovo) muzeum, do nějž se soustředily nejvýznamnější krajanské sbírky.

OPTION / VOLBA 5
February 4 (1628) - the day philosopher and pedagogue Jan Amos Komensky (Comenius) left the Czech Lands in 1628. The Czech philosopher, pedagogue and theologian led schools and advised governments across Protestant Europe in the 17th century. He is considered the father of modern education.
4. únor (1628) - Odchod J. A. Komenského z vlasti. Památný den odchodu J. A. Komenského z Čech a rozloučení se s vlastí na Růžovém paloučku u Žacléře. Představuje symbol českého vyhnanství pro víru a přesvědčení

YOU CAN VOTE AT THE FOLLOWING LINK / HLASOVAT MŮŽETE NA NÁSLEDUJÍCÍM ODKAZU
https://www.mzv.cz/jnp/cz/zahranicni_vztahy/krajane/Anketa.html

You can also send an alternative suggestion to [email protected]
/ Můžete také navrhnout jiné významné datum a zaslat jej na [email protected]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic
Ministerstvo zahraničních věcí České republiky

Česká pošta
07/01/2020

Česká pošta

Nová výplatní známka děkuje všem, kteří byli v první linii.
Motivem nové výplatní písmenové poštovní známky, kterou Česká pošta začne prodávat ve středu 24. června, jsou roušky se zjednodušenými symboly zdravotníků, pošty, armády, policie, hasičů a všech ostatních, kteří si navzájem pomáhali a v nelehké době koronavirové krize drželi při sobě. Autorem výtvarného návrhu známky je Filip Heyduk.
Více: https://www.ceskaposta.cz/-/nova-vyplatni-znamka-dekuje-vsem-kteri-byli-v-prvni-linii

Memorial Day 2015
05/25/2020

Memorial Day 2015

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
05/08/2020

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

My friend Wally Lang was able to visit Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago this week, and took this photo of the double tree I carved last year.
The crack through the wifes's name symbolizes her broken heart; the radio and Cubs hat represent how the husband, who was blind, loved to attend Cubs baseball games and sit in the stands listening to the play-by-play on his transistor radio. He played violin, and they loved books (and knew many languages) and picnicing.

04/02/2020
How to Significantly Slow Coronavirus? #Masks4All

A Public Service Announcement from the Czech Republic

A KEY ARGUMENT FOR USING HOMEMADE MASKS: Homemade masks are partly effective in individual protection, but they are essential for slowing the spread of the v...

Chuck Michalek is a volunteer with Friends of BNC and heads up our Columbarium Restoration Project. https://www.radio.cz...
11/22/2019
Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago tells the tale of Czech immigrants who helped build the city | Radio Prague International

Chuck Michalek is a volunteer with Friends of BNC and heads up our Columbarium Restoration Project.
https://www.radio.cz/en/section/panorama/bohemian-national-cemetery-in-chicago-tells-the-tale-of-czech-immigrants-who-helped-build-the-city

There are many places in US where you will find Bohemian cemeteries, established wherever Czechs settled in the country. The Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago was formed in 1877 and, with its 120 acres it is one of the largest. Chuck Michalek, Bohemian National Cemetery Association board member....

Stories in the stone!
11/04/2019

Stories in the stone!

I've been asked about the titles on the book, on this treestump tombstone that I carved. The couple met when they were both studying linguistics at the Univ. of Illinois, and the titles reflect the languages they knew. In addition, his job included computer programming (hence the Cobol book) and she has a love of cooking (the Recipes book). This was installed in September at Bohemian National Cemtery in Chicago.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
11/04/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

My friend Mike Smith, a superb photographer who leads Afterlife Tours, Inc. just visited Bohemian National Cemetery, and took this autumnal photo of my double treestump tombstone. Don't you think it has settled into its permanent home very nicely?

Tune in to CBS Sunday Morning tomorrow to see more worm by Walter S. Arnold, who carved the double treestone recently in...
10/26/2019

Tune in to CBS Sunday Morning tomorrow to see more worm by Walter S. Arnold, who carved the double treestone recently installed at Bohemian National Cemetery.

This Sunday morning Oct. 27, CBS Sunday Morning has scheduled a special Halloween segment on gargoyles. They will be featuring my work, that of JHCarpenter Studios and the Washington National Cathedral , where I carved this one,the Crooked Politician, from Jay's model. Hope you'll tune in and watch us!

Some interesting information about some treestones (but remember, not all treestones denote Woodmen of the World members...
10/19/2019

Some interesting information about some treestones (but remember, not all treestones denote Woodmen of the World membership).

On our recent visit to Charleston, SC, I spotted this tombstone at Bethany Cemetery. It's a pretty standard Woodman of the World (WoW) tree, from about 1902. WoW (now called WoodmenLife) is a non profit fraternal benefit society, They provide insurance benefits to members, and from about 1890 to 1920 this included paying for a treestump tombstone. This greatly helped popularize this type of memorial. They had a number of standard designs which they would send to local stone shops, but each carver could customize and individualize the memorial. It's been about 100 years since Woodmen provided treestump tombstones, but you can still find these in old cemeteries throughout the United States.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
09/27/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

The finished monument, installed in Chicago's Bohemian National Cemetery. I hope you'll visit it some day; if you do, please share your photos.

Many of us have ancestors who lived in Pilsen.
09/19/2019
Chicago’s Pilsen makes top 10 list of world’s coolest neighborhoods

Many of us have ancestors who lived in Pilsen.

CHICAGO — Looking for somewhere new to explore? Chicagoans may not have to go very far. In TimeOut's list of the 50 coolest neighborhoods in the world, Pilsen was in the top 10! With its thriving street art community and up-and-coming gallery scene, the neighborhood has become a major art hub in C...

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
09/17/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

A cat on a branch, carved on the double tree stump tombstone that I just completed. It is now installed at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago. I hope you will visit it.

Don't miss the mention of Bohemian National Cemetery!
09/13/2019
When Americans Dined (and Dated) in Cemeteries

Don't miss the mention of Bohemian National Cemetery!

St. Luke’s 1957 Pilgrimage Service. ©Historic Saint Luke's Church / Historic Saint. Luke's Church When it comes to green spaces, we're a bit spoilt in New York City. There are over 1,700 parks (even if it doesn't always feel that way) for our picnics, parties, and general frolicking to unfold.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
09/11/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

Crated and ready to go. It may not look it in the photo, but this crate is quite robust and secure. Lateral cross bracing keeps the tree from moving in any direction, and will hold the 4x4 framing from any compression when strapped to the truck or lifted with slings. The crane truck will set it right on the foundation, then we'll remove the bottom 2x4's and lower it so it's just 2" above the foundation. Then we'll remove all the framing, and gently lower it the last 2 inches.

Be sure to read Walter's comments on the photos - he explains how weather and settling have affected some of the treesto...
09/10/2019

Be sure to read Walter's comments on the photos - he explains how weather and settling have affected some of the treestones..

Covering 126 acres, Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago is home to a virtual forest of tree stump tombstones. Hundreds of beautiful examples grace the grounds of this beautiful place.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
09/08/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

The double tree is almost done; I just need to finish the inscriptions, and it will be ready for installation.

It's happening!
09/06/2019

It's happening!

The foundation for my double tree stump tombstone was poured this week. Its at Bohemian National Cemetery in Chicago, about 50 feet north of the Cubs Fan Columbarium.
The PVC pipe sticking up is a place holder and will be cut off. It creates a hole for a large stainless rod that will extend into the base of the limestone monument. It's simpler to put in the pipe while pouring the concrete, instead of drilling a hole after the concrete hardens. The foundation is four feet deep (1.2 meters), extending well below the frost line to ensure it will be stable for hundreds of years.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
09/03/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

If a monk who dwells among the books is a scribe, what do you call a chip-munk who dwells among the books?

08/28/2019
Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

The picnic basket on my limestone double treestump tombstone. Work is nearing completion.

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor
08/28/2019

Walter S. Arnold Sculptor

I've been refining the teapot. The wife being memorialized with this limestone tombstone collects china teapots. The picnic basket recalls their outings to attend concerts at Ravinia Park, north of Chicago. Ravinia has hosted music festivals for over 100 years.

08/23/2019
Carving the basket

Carving the basket

Carving a picnic basket on a large limestone double treestump tombstone.

Address

5255 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL
60630

General information

Contact address: Friends of BNC P.O. Box 72746 Roselle, IL 60172-0746

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Comments

What a great event for veterans, family members, and those interested in their Czech and Slovak backgrounds.
I wanted to take a few moments to express my thoughts about my visit to the cemetery Friday. I am so grateful to the group for having found the burial plot information for me prior to my driving in from Detroit. I expected my g.grandfather's first daughter not to have a grave marker (I wasn't quite prepared to find out that she was buried in a "rental grave"), but I hadn't prepared myself to see that his wife and second daughter did not have a marker at their grave. I am hoping to look into options to mark their resting place in the future. I visit cemeteries regularly, and I can say that I have never been to a cemetery quite like Bohemian National Cemetery before. From the moment I entered the cemetery, I was in awe of the many beautiful and unique monuments. Further, I was impressed and happy to see how well the buildings and grounds have been kept up considering their age. Some of the older cemeteries I’ve visited have made me feel sick, especially the mausoleum my g.grandmother is interred here, in Detroit. I enjoyed looking at the photos and trinkets enclosed in all of the niches. I’ve never seen such lovely displays. The cemetery truly is a beautiful resting place for so many. Much gratitude to all who contribute to the upkeep of the grounds, restoration efforts, and the preservation of history.
when was the east fence line moved closer to the college?
It is very upsetting to see this and no regard for our loved ones who have passed away. Why is this happening and why aren't you doing anything about it? https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=572994843547066
Hello! I just recently learned that my Grandmother is buried in your lovely cemetery. I was wondering if there is any way I could obtain a picture of her headstone/marker. Here is her information: buried under the name “Barbara Daley". If you need any further information to assist me in my quest please contact me via FB messenger or by email. [email protected]
Thank you so very much for all your help Carol. Being able to see my Oma's headstone again, made me have happy tears. You are so wonderful to check things out for me.
By closing the doors.
We have been tending grave(s) since 1935 at this truly historic gem. Is anyone else distressed by the lack of needed ground/road crew to maintain Bohemian National Cemetery? This does not appear to be on anyone's radar nor am I aware of any strategic endowment planning or fundraising for keeping the grave areas free from fallen limbs, dead trees and in general garbage pick up. I and our family in the past years have gladly cleaned, pruned, planted and kept our plots and the surrounding grave areas clean of debris. Visiting yesterday the condition of many of the interior roads are a hazard to drive. I would be concerned if I were on the Board about liability due to unsafe conditions. Interesting that while these glaring omissions are noticeable ESPECIALLY when visiting other cemeteries where the grounds are maintained including fencing, we see a CUBS wall, fountain and planting at entrance and other details that are not in the best interest of those who have had generations buried here not to mention those incoming families.... Thank you.
Just saw the banner for the tombstone tours! I'd have gone this month if I had seen on FB sooner!
Hoping you can help me with a question. Many of my ancestors are at BNC, including 8 family members in a mausoleum. It was put up around 1926. We were there yesterday doing our annual pilgrimage and cleaning. Can anyone tell me what material was used to build the mausoleums? Thanks for any help!
About 10 years ago, I visited with my mother to get information about my great grandfather, Vaclav Vana. There was some old newspaper articles about the cemetery in the lobby. Mom told me he was important to the cemetery - on the board or something, especially around the time of Anton Cermak's death. Is there anyplace I can look for more information or get a copy of the newspaper articles?
Part of our current Traditional Bohemian Folk Dolls collection, minus 3 that were borrowed to be cleaned up & not returned.... Looking to add to this collection in a big way, Help Out if you can, Thanx , Rob