Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation

The mission of the Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation is to maintain, preserve, and enhance all that is in its domain to honor this living memorial.

Preservation of Lincoln and Springfield’s History

Oak Ridge GoFundMe

The internment records of Lincolns’ burials need to be restored and preserved. The simple, one-inch-thick book is the first volume of internment records beginning in 1858 at Oak Ridge, the second most visited cemetery In the United States due to its most famous internments. The second volume contains the record of Mary Lincoln’s 1882 funeral at the cemetery, among many others. Both books have deteriorated over time. As Director of Oak Ridge Cemetery, Mike Lelys, stated, “Time has not been kind to them after 150 years of people looking at the books. If nothing is done, they will deteriorate to the point of not being readable.”

There is more to it than our Country’s favorite son, the history of Springfield is also within the roughly 200 plus pages this effort will preserve. Preservation costs include the restoration of the two books, an archival display case and facsimile copies of the documents for educational viewing.

Total restoration cost: $40,000

A GoFundMe account will soon  be created to help fundraise!

Check out the Oak Ridge Cemetery Internment Records HERE


New Block Signs

Eighty five new cohesive blocks signs have replaced the aging signage throughout the cemetery, including informative graphics about select gravesites, notable areas, and historic trees.

The bell tower controller is installed and functioning!

We have it programmed to toll once on the half hour and toll hourly beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. The hourly tolls will reflect the time……7 chimes for 7 a.m. 8 for 8 a.m. etc.

 Thank you Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation and members for once again enhancing Oak Ridge Cemetery through your personal and financial support! -Mike Lelys

Oak Ridge Cemetery Dedication of Original Entrance, December 3, 2014

Thank you so MUCH to ALL of our sponsors and donors. Thanks to you Oak Ridge Cemetery now has a beautiful “new” Original Entrance!


This was a photo from our Dedication of The Original Entrance to Oak Ridge Cemetery held on December 3rd, 2014.

Welcome to the Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation.

Founded in 1856, Oak Ridge Cemetery is Springfield’s home to over 75,000 internments including John L. Lewis, Vachel Lindsay, and Abraham Lincoln, as well as a number of memorials. This beautiful land covers 365 acres of native plant filled prairie land. As the second most visited cemetery in the nation, Oak Ridge Cemetery sees neatly one million visitors annually, second only to Arlington National Cemetery.

The Oak Ridge Cemetery has an awesome opportunity to promote the 2nd most visited cemetery in the nation and the largest cemetery in Illinois. As detailed by local historians Curtis Mann and Ed Russo the rural landscape cemetery, which is one of the greatest contributions to landscape architecture, is a prime example of the romantic landscape which came to spark the American park movement in U.S. cities.