Tour the 1890s crematory, the finest and best-preserved remaining example in the Upper Midwest and the Forest Home Cemetery & Arboretum offering three totally new experiences for 2023 – all created just for Doors Open visitors!
See the Fitzhugh Scott service building – never before open to the public!
A Civil War re-enactor will tell you the story of Francis Collins, the veteran who dug his own grave when he was in his 80s – then held court here every day to chat up the passersby.
Pump up your tires, grease your chains, and bring your bike for a FREE 2pm cemetery tour that focuses on the diversity of burials at our historic garden cemetery. This tour is 1.5 hours and suitable for all levels.
If you’re a sucker for structures, Forest Home Cemetery features buildings designed by three of Milwaukee’s greatest architectural firms – all contributing to designation on the National Register of Historic Places.
Chapel, designed by Ferry and Clas (the architects known for the Pabst Mansion and the Central Library) and built by the Bentley Co. (also known for building the Tripoli Shrine Center and the North Point Water Tower;the Bentleys are buried in Section 8 of Forest Home and the Halls of History). Ferry & Clas later installed the upper Midwest’s first crematory underneath their chapel;see the receiving vault where bodies were kept during the winter months, the family waiting room and the cremation chamber.
Cemetery office, designed by Alexander Eschweiler, also known for Milwaukee’s pagoda service stations;one of his sons, and also an architect, Alexander Eschweiler, Jr., is buried in Section 33 of Forest Home. Here you’ll see our historical records and learn how we use them to find burial locations – and then try it out on your own. This activity is perfect for families and anyone who wants to explore our grounds.
Administration and Service building, designed by Fitzhugh Scott Sr. and Fitzhugh Scott Jr. (jointly known for the Allen-Bradley complex and individually for the Washington Park bandshell, and Vail, Colo.), Village [Scott Sr.] and the UWM Golda Meir and UW–Madison Helen C. White libraries [Scott Jr.]). See the basement of this building where burial vaults are stored, headstones are repaired and the equipment to maintain nearly 200 acres is stored.
2405 W Forest Home Ave
10 am - 5 pm
Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted
1st floor only