Volunteers offer a variety of guided tours, from Civil War veterans to Women of Influence in Old Milwaukee.
Guided tours are offered in the months of June, July and August. Please view the “Events” page for dates and times.
The Forest Home Historic Preservation Association has added three new tours for the 2017 season that expand our history program. We are fortunate to have dedicated tour guides who bring extensive knowledge to our public events.
Margaret Berres – Margaret has a strong background in Civil War history and has been active in helping to restore veteran’s grave markers. She has walked the grounds at Forest Home Cemetery numerous times in search of veteran history. Margaret is a retired educator having spent 39 years with the Greendale Public Schools. She has developed a strong sense of Milwaukee history with her efforts to find all the Civil War Veterans buried at Forest Home, (over 1,000 of them.) She sees her work as a way to honor these Civil War Veterans.
Robert Giese – Is a Milwaukee historian who has given tours in Milwaukee for many years. He has written extensively about Milwaukee, including the brewing families, in which most of them reside at Forest Home. He also developed a Mayors Tour. Forest Home Cemetery is the final resting place to 27 of Milwaukee’s 38 deceased mayors including two of Milwaukee’s Founders.
Paul Haubrich – Paul is past President of the Forest Home Historic Preservation Association and has served on the Forest Home Cemetery Board of Directors for nearly 20 years. He developed the initial tours, starting in 2005, and has expanded the series to include a variety of diverse topics including Cemetery Art and Symbolism and the ever-popular Milwaukee History Tour. If you are interested in the series of tours, the Milwaukee History Tour is recommended for your initial walk at Forest Home Cemetery.
Tom Ludka – Tom is the retired Veteran’s Affairs Coordinator for Waukesha County and a Civil War history buff. He has partnered with Margaret Berres to do outstanding research to find the graves and stories of Civil War Veterans from Southeast Wisconsin and especially those buried at Forest Home. He sees this effort as a way to honor those service men and women who came before and insuring that they are not forgotten.
Sally Merrell – The daughter of a history teacher, Sally Merrell remembers visiting forts and battlegrounds on family vacations. Taking her interest in History and combining it with her love of outdoors, parks, storytelling and Milwaukee, Sally shares the stories of the people who have our streets and parks named after them and how they helped shape our city. Now that Sally is partially retired after practicing estate planning and law for over 35 years, she is excited to be a tour guide at Forest Home Cemetery.
Anita Pietrykowski – Anita has taken a particular interest in researching the lives and accomplishments of women who are buried at Forest Home Cemetery. She has developed two tours that focus on the stories of remarkable women from the time of the founding of Milwaukee to modern day. Her research into the abolitionists buried at the Cemetery has served as the basis for her tour, Milwaukee Abolitionists. Now retired, Anita worked as a teacher and administrator for Milwaukee Public Schools.
Forest Home also provides a self-guided tour booklet that may be obtained at the office. Some digital versions of these public tours can be found on the “Maps” page.
Day of the Dead Event by Forest Home Cemetery. Come join in the celebration to remember the dead! This 6 hour event will include a remembrance service in the Chapel, face decorating, grave decorating, a Procession out to the Our Lady of Guadalupe Statue, and a...read more
Milwaukee Industrialists by Paul Haubrich will share Milwaukee’s great Industrial history. This tour will focus on many of the engineering feats that were accomplished by the like of Allis, Nordberg, Harnishfager, Vilter and many more.read more
Not as Famous, Yet Amazing Milwaukeeans by Robert Giese showcases other Famous Milwaukeeans who have made an impact on Milwaukee history, from the “Guinness Book of Records” to the first female photographer that was in harm’s way during World War II.read more
Milwaukee Abolitionists by Anita Pietrykowski who will visit gravesites, review the history of the Milwaukee abolitionist movement and tell the significant stories of Caroline Quarlls and Joshua Glover, two escaped slaves, whose paths to freedom were closely tied to...read more
The Streets and Parks of Milwaukee by Sally Merrell who will visit the gravesites and tell stories of Milwaukeeans who have streets and parks named for them. This will include such names as Lapham, Gillespie, Brown, Burnham, Layton, Zeidler and Halyard.read more
A journey of Playing in Milwaukee's Past. Forest Home Cemetery and the Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin are proud to partner to share in a historical tour that helps young scouts discover and understand women’s accomplishments and contributions to Milwaukee’s past....read more
The role of the German immigrant played a special role in Milwaukee history. German Milwaukee sometimes referred to as the “German Athens” had a strong impact upon the industrial and political life of Milwaukee. Names such as Falk, Usinger, Berger, Anneke, Krug,...read more
A tour that highlights many of famous names and business leaders in Milwaukee. Sometime referred to as the streets of Milwaukee because so many streets were named after these community leaders. A tour that covers a wide range of roles and lives of Milwaukeeans whose...read more
During the Victoria era symbolism played an important role in telling stories about people lives and motivation. Use of flowers, religious symbols, expression of mourning and monument designs are explored to better understand the messages and expression of...read more
This is a unique and special tour that highlights the lives, work and achievements of contemporary women buried at Forest Home Cemetery. Learn about Elsa Ulbricht, Maude Miriam Wright, Dickey Chapelle, Lynn Fontanne, Mary Nohl, Alice M. Chester, Peg Bradley and...read more
Untold Stories of Accomplishment The contributions of women in shaping the early history of Milwaukee are frequently untold in history books. Well, not any longer! Come and learn about lives of Lydia Ely Hewitt, Margaret Falk, Dr. Laura Ross Wolcott, Meta...read more
Milwaukee was made famous by the brewing industry during the 1800s and early 1900s. This tour visits the gravesites of all the major brewers and briefly reviews the role of the brewery in Milwaukee history. Brewer such as Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz, Gettlemen, Graff,...read more
This tour explores the history of the cemetery and visits the graves of many early Milwaukeeans who helped built Milwaukee in the 1800s. Names like Layton, Marshall, Ilsley, Pfister, Mitchell, Schlitz, Pabst and many more are covered in this tour. This is the best...read more
All Civil War buffs and veterans will enjoy the stories of some of the almost 1000+ civil war veterans buried at Forest Home. The tour covers all the ranks from drummer boys to Generals and provides a brief history of each, their role in the war. This tour has two...read more
NOTE: Private tours can also be scheduled for groups and organizations wishing to learn more about the unique history of the cemetery and the people who built Milwaukee from a frontier community. Please contact the Forest Home Cemetery office at 414-645-2632.