Historic Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis celebrates 150 years

Lakewood Cemetery, in Minneapolis, is celebrating 150 years this summer. 

The Lakewood Cemetery along the southeastern shore of Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis has become the final resting place for around 200,000 people, including some of the most prominent names in Minneapolis and Minnesota history. 

"Minneapolis had about 13,000 residents at the time Lakewood was started," Julia Gillis, Outreach Director and tour guide for Lakewood Cemetery said. "Now, Lakewood is in the heart of the city but then it was in a rural area out in the country." 

Some of the prominent Minnesotans buried on the 250 acre property include Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Charles Loring, who is considered the "father of Minneapolis parks," Abram Fridley, a farmer and legislator who the first to introduce a women’s suffrage bill in the Minnesota Legislature and former U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone who died in a plane crash in 2002. 

"We kind of tell the story here at Lakewood so you’ve got a lot of people who created Minneapolis," Lakewood Cemetery President Chris Makowske said. 

To celebrate 150 years, Lakewood is hosting events and tours focusing on different areas of history. 

"Sometimes it’s historical people, sometimes it’s famous women, artists and architects, famous black Minnesotans, all sorts of different stories out here," Makowske said. 

Makowske and the cemetery’s caretakers encourage people to visit the free and open site to learn more about the history at the cemetery. You can learn more about guided tours and events at Lakewood Cemetery’s Website.