We are open! Oak Woods Cemetery is open for visitors and services beginning May 10, 2019. Learn more
- Recently renovated
Flexible chapel space
Our chapel can be used for hosting your religious events
- Waterside views
- Piano/organ on site
Family Estates are a distinguished tribute to a family legacy. They can be customized with stained glass, benches and landscaping
Grave markers that sit flush to the ground in the material of preference
- Upright headstones
Private or Community spaces for urns as well as caskets, that can be Indoor or outdoor
- Onsite cemetery
- Cremation remembrance jewelry
- Cremation cemetery options
- Cremation niches
- Cremation gardens
Arrangements by phone and email
Complete funeral planning without needing a funeral home visit
- Intimate reception area
Services available to coordinate visitation or viewing at a private residence
- Jewish cemetery section
We want you to feel confident planning a funeral for yourself or a loved one. Here are some of the unique benefits we offer to help relieve your family of emotional and financial burdens.
National plan transferability
Personal Planning Guide
Free online obituary
Experts in honoring veterans
Away from home protection
Celebration of life
Compassion help line
100% Dignity Service Guarantee
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A historic resting place
Rich in heritage, Oak Woods Cemetery is one of the more significant historic cemeteries on Chicago's south side. Soon after the end of the American Civil War, 4,000-6,000 Confederate soldiers who were imprisoned and died at Camp Douglas were buried at our cemetery.
Additionally, Oak Woods Cemetery has been selected by many notable, public figures as their final resting place. Within our beautiful grounds are the burial sites of a former Chicago mayor, former professional baseball greats, an Olympian, magazine publishers and religious leaders.
Over the years, we dreamed and planned for a truly impressive mausoleum, worthy of inclusion among the greatest structures of its kind. When the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in the spring of 1959, one of the first ships to pass through brought 100 tons of Portuguese marble for use in constructing the cemetery’s now impressive Tower of Memories.
Here to serve you
Whether you have an immediate need, are considering future cemetery and burial options, or simply wish to explore our rich history and urban beauty—we welcome you to visit Oak Woods Cemetery and look forward to serving you.
Early history of Oak Woods
Oak Woods Cemetery Association was organized in 1853 by a group of city leaders. Today, it is one of Chicago's most widely known and respected institutions. Previous to the time when Oak Woods Cemetery was incorporated, most burial places were churchyards or small plots adjacent to cities or towns. The 9 men who organized Oak Woods secured the services of Dolph Strauch, foremost landscape architect and designer, and the foundation was laid for the conception of a cemetery capable of development into a beautiful park with wide lawns and winding roads.
On Feb. 12, 1853, the Illinois State legislature granted a special perpetual charter to the Oak Woods Cemetery Association. One of the few cemeteries to be organized and operated by virtue of a special legislative act, the charter guaranteed a permanent resting place for those who would find peace among the wooded, lake-studded acres.
Our cemetery today
While Oak Woods Cemetery continues to evolve, we remain a beautiful, peaceful and serene resting place with the same values and focus of our founders. It is our unwavering promise to faithfully serve Chicago families for years to come.