The 30th Annual “Tale of the Tombstones” walking tour of Forest Home Cemetery is next weekend on Sunday, Oct. 17 beginning at noon. The annual tradition, begun by The Historical Society of Oak Park & River Forest in 1992, is a guided walking tour through the historic burial ground, coupled with costumed actors sharing the stories of some notable folks buried there.

This year’s theme is “Happy Days Are Here Again?!” a riff on the 1929 song that represents the Roaring ’20s, which might be said to represent the hopes we all have for a post-COVID world.

This year’s performances all have stories tied to the 1920s, but also have resonance today:

Billy Sunday, couldn’t shut Chicago down

Grace Hall Hemingway, more than Ernie’s mom

Frank Pellegrino, charter member of the Communist Party USA

Hannah Beye Fyfe, artist and crusader for women’s rights

Adam Heyer, unlucky gangster

William Grunow, made a fortune in radios and chickens

All ticket sales ($20/$15 members) will be done via or by phone, 708-848-6755. Visitors should wear comfortable shoes, dress for the weather, bring a mask, and be ready to hear the fascinating stories of the folks buried in this historic burial ground in Forest Park. 

Through the decades, hundreds of volunteers have acted, written scripts, directed traffic, made costumes, and led the tours for this unique annual event.

Frank Lipo

Executive Director

Oak Park River Forest Museum

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