Crystal Lake, Illinois
About the Cemetery
The City of Crystal Lake traces its origins to two separate communities which were established in the 1800’s. Those communities were generally known as Nunda and Crystal Lake.
The area known today as “Downtown Crystal Lake” was first called “Dearborn” and then “Nunda.” The village of Dearborn came into existence in the mid-1850’s after the railroads extended their lines through the area. In 1868, Dearborn’s name was changed to “Nunda” after an area in New York from which many settlers had come.
At that time, the main business district for the village of Crystal Lake was located on Virginia Street, near today’s McCormick Park. The railroad served to connect the people and industries of both Crystal Lake and Nunda to Chicago and the rest of the county. Although the depot was located in Nunda, it was called the Crystal Lake station.
The two often-feuding villages found much to disagree upon. However, in a rare effort of cooperation, the two towns recognized the need to work together in order to purchase and provide a public burial ground for its citizens. The older Crystal Lake Cemetery (now known as Lake Avenue Cemetery) was filling up.
In June, 1888, each village board selected a committee to buy land for a cemetery. The cemetery committee met with property owner Elihu Hubbard, and purchased ten acres of land for $1,500. Each village contributed $750 toward the purchase. The central location of the property was ideal, as it was within the corporate boundaries of Crystal Lake, but in Nunda Township.The cemetery was laid out in large family-sized lots surrounded on all sides by generous grassy aisles. Beautiful old trees were left scattered throughout the grounds. Emma Schoonhoven became the first burial in August, 1888.
For additional information about the Crystal Lake Historical Society, please go here.
The Society is working on a project to make available Union Cemetery transcription records for interested readers. Please go here to see how this website shall look eventually, by comparison with our recently completed project for the Lake Avenue Cemetery project.