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.


In addition to erection of the Oak Ridge entrance sign on North Grand Avenue, Foundation members developed and executed a plan to replace existing “notable persons” signage within the cemetery. There were currently nine signs, in various states of disrepair, that were replaced during the first phase of this project.

As the foundation moves this project into the next phase, we are developing the criteria to determine additional markers that merit recognition as a notable person. Additional notable signs will be added as funding is secured.

Adopt A Tree

The Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation in cooperation with Oak Ridge Cemetery has initiated a new “Adopt a Tree” program. Its purpose is to promote greater interest and understanding of trees and the natural environment of the Cemetery and to preserve that environment for the future using sound management practices.

Much has been done to evaluate and document specimen trees within the Cemetery. Each year’s Tree Tour highlights new specimens that have been affixed with permanent markers. Each marker gives the tree’s name and a QR code linking it to extensive information about that specimen.

The 100+ trees now documented are available for adoption. In future years, as more trees are researched and documented, those trees can be added to the list for adoption.

Individuals, families, organizations, and businesses may adopt one or more trees from the list. That list and detailed information about each tree can be found in a catalog at the Oak Ridge Cemetery office or on-line at oakridgecemeterytrees@wordpress.com.

Adopting a tree is easy; the fee is $75

Once you select the tree or trees you want to adopt, just send or deliver the application form and $75 fee for each tree. In return, you will receive a certificate of adoption. Your name will be added to the QR documentation as the adoptee. If you adopt a tree as a memorial, tribute or a gift that information will be included.

Adoption fees go toward maintenance and care of trees in the cemetery. By adopting a tree you are helping to care for trees throughout the 365-acre Cemetery.

*Please drop off cash or checks payable to Oak Ridge Cemetery, Tree Fund at the Oak Ridge Cemetery Office located at 1441 Monument Ave., Springfield, IL.

New Oak Ridge Cemetery Sign

Go check out the new Oak Ridge Cemetery Sign. The sign is located at North Grand and Monument Ave in Springfield!


The Oak Ridge Cemetery Foundation would like to thank The Lincoln Monument Association, Springfield and Central Illinois African-American History Museum, Woare Inc., RD Lawrence Construction, the Cooney family, and the Oak Ridge Cemetery staff.

Preservation of Lincoln and Springfield’s History

Oak Ridge GoFundMe

The internment records of Lincolns’ burials will 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. 

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

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.