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.

Tour Guides:

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 has a strong background in the Civil War history and has been active in helping to restore Veteran’s grave markers and 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 in the cemetery. She sees her work as a way to honor Veterans.

Robert Giese is a Milwaukee history buff who has given tours with Historic Milwaukee for a number of years. He has written extensively about Milwaukee’s brewing families, most of them at Forest Home, and developed the Beer Barons tour as an extension of his research. Bob has also developed a tour on Famous Milwaukeeans who helped create the industrial past and shaped Milwaukee industry and culture for the past 175 years. His Mayors tour is one of our newer tours. Forest Home Cemetery is final resting place to 27 of Milwaukee’s 44 mayors.

Paul Haubrich is President of the Forest Home Historic Preservation Association and has served on the Board of Directors of the cemetery for nearly 20 years. He developed the initial tours starting in 2005 and has expanded the series to include a diverse series of 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 recommend for your initial walk at Forest Home Cemetery.

Tom Ludka is recently retired from his position as the Veteran’s County Service Officer for Waukesha County and is a civil war history buff. He has partnered with Margaret Berres to do outstanding research to find the graves and stories of 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 the stories of the past are not forgotten.

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 and 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 start this new chapter as a tour guide.

Anita Pietrykowski 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 latest research into the abolitionists buried at the Cemetery has served as the basis for her new 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.

Milwaukee Abolitionists

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...

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The Streets and Parks of Milwaukee

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.

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Girl Scouts: Women in History

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....

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Famous Germans

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,...

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Famous Milwaukeeans

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...

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Cemetery Art and Symbolism

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...

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Contemporary Milwaukee Women

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...

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Women of the 1800s

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...

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Beer Barons

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,...

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Milwaukee History

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...

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Civil War Veterans

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...

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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.

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