Our Town Champaign: Mt. Hope Cemetery

Published 06/25 2012 10:00PM

Updated 06/27 2012 12:07PM

CHAMPAIGN -- It's been a staple here in Champaign-Urbana for 157 years. It's also a great place to learn about some history. This is Burke family mausoleum.

It's the center stone of Mount Hope Cemetery. More than 100 years ago, the Burke family donated all 52 acres of this land--land that's now the resting place for 14,000 people.

Steve Margevich is one of the directors here.

"It's a historical perspective for people who were buried here; what were their paths, where did they come from?"

Believe it or not, some of the folks here you may know.

"We have a number of people buried here of notable backgrounds and I think that's why in and of itself it's a very unique setting and very unique place."

Uniquely placed in the middle of campus next to Memorial Stadium.

"Edwin James was the 4th president of the University of Illinois."

From presidents to coaches, George Huff was among the first football and baseball coaches here. Right in front of him lies Robert Zuppke. The Illini field is named after him.

"It's been a cemetery since 1855, so it's an awful lot of history here."

History and pride. Hundreds of veterans buried here are treated with honor. Each Memorial Day, this sticker marks each grave to make sure it gets a flag.

"I had a gentleman last year who was able to get a marker for a civil war veteran who never had one and this guy lives in Maine. So there's a lot of unique reasons why the cemetery draws these individuals here."

Whether its a loved one, history or just curiosity that brings people here to visit, it's clearly a great place to stay.

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