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Graveyards.com Still #1 Website for Cemetery Enthusiasts

GraveyardsdotcomNot many websites can say they have been online for more than a decade, but if Matt Hucke’s Graveyards.com was a person, it would be eligible to vote. That’s because this Mecca for cemeterians went online on August 20, 1996. Originally called “Graveyards of Chicago,” the website featured pictures and historical information pertaining to cemeteries in the Chicagoland area. In 1999, Ursula Bielski and Matt Hucke collaborated on the book Graveyards of Chicago, which is now in its second edition. The website quickly grew to encompass cemeteries all over Illinois, and some in other states. Maps were added in 2003. Now known simply as Graveyards.com, version 4.0 of the website launched on Memorial Day 2014.

Version 4.0 retains the original look and feel of the website, with smoother navigation and a cleaner feel. Of the new design, Matt Hucke says, “Now that the web site is, for the first time since the 1990s, on a solid, modern foundation using the best available tools, I expect to add content and improve functionality on a regular basis.” One of those features includes being able to login with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ profile. Although Matt is planning to add community features, there doesn’t seem to be much benefit to logging in at the current time.

Graveyards.com has information on literally thousands of cemeteries throughout Illinois, with hundreds of pictures. Matt Hucke and Angie Johnson did an incredible job visiting and photographing a bewildering number of graveyards, from the largest to the most obscure, including some that are literally just a few scattered headstones in the woods. Information about each cemetery is very easy to find. Simply click on “Cemetery Lists” in the main menu. That will take you to a page listing Illinois counties. Clicking on a county will bring up a page listing all the cemeteries in that county. This page can be viewed as a map and a list. The map feature is very useful. Each cemetery has its own page with pictures and links to its location on Google maps and Google Earth.

There is an entirely different page for cemetery profiles featuring more extensive historical information. These pages were apparently migrated over from earlier versions of the website and according to the editor, “some of these entries are a bit dated (or even broken).” It will look much, much nicer when this information is in the new CSS framework and conforms to the rest of the website.

One of my favorite bonus features is the “error 404” page, which displays a picture of a broken headstone and says, “The page you requested has been lost, like tears in rain.”

Graveyards1

So if you haven’t explored Matt Hucke’s Graveyards.com, I highly recommend it! But if you plan to do some exploring at any of the hundreds of cemeteries listed there, especially at older cemeteries, always remember to be respectful. Take only photos, leave only footprints.

Sorry guys, this page is copyright MysteriousHeartland.com, 2014. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work.

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  1. […] 2013, you and Matt Hucke released a new, updated edition of your book Graveyards of Chicago. What does the new edition bring […]

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