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Landmark Lakewood Cemetery
Celebrates 150 Years


One of the Most Storied and Extraordinary Urban Cemeteries in America Looks Back – and Ahead – As It Celebrates a Major Milestone in 2021

Lakewood Cemetery, located in Uptown Minneapolis, is celebrating 150 years this year as a local treasure, industry pioneer and resting place for thousands of remarkable individuals and families. From its founding by a few visionary leaders in 1871 to its expansive public programming today, Lakewood has always been a place where people come together to celebrate, honor, mourn, reflect and remember what’s sacred in life.

Throughout 2021, the nonprofit cemetery will be celebrating its 150th year by encouraging people from all walks of life to take part in a full calendar of experiences and activities that showcase Lakewood’s proud history and bold vision to reimagine the role of a cemetery in modern life. There will be opportunities to explore Lakewood’s 250 acres of urban memorial parkland, to share stories and memories of Lakewood, to learn more about Lakewood’s history, art and gardens, and to discover ways to bring more creativity and meaning to memorialization.

Lakewood’s story began with several New England-born leaders who came to Minnesota in the late 1800s and helped build the city of Minneapolis. Progressive and enlightened, they envisioned Lakewood as a place for all individuals and families to be memorialized in a peaceful and beautiful setting. Over time, Lakewood has become a keeper of some of this city’s treasures — its historical figures and events, art and architecture, park-like landscape, and people from many cultures and walks of life.

“Lakewood is a haven in the heart of Minneapolis and an integral part of the Twin Cities community,” says Lakewood’s president, Chris Makowske. “For our 150th anniversary, we’re opening our doors and inviting the entire community to get to know us better. If you haven’t seen our historic mosaic Chapel, participated in one of our seasonal celebrations, or taken a walking tour of Lakewood, this is the year to do it,” Makowske adds. “We’re offering our most robust year of community programming ever to encourage people to connect or re-connect with this very special place.”

“Not only are we celebrating the past, but we are also looking ahead to the next 150 years,” Makowske continues. “The world of death, dying and remembrance is changing. People today are looking for more personal and meaningful ways to honor and remember, both at the time of death and in the years that follow. Because as many of us know, we never forget those we’ve lost.”

“As we move forward, Lakewood intends to continue to inspire individuals and families to discover what’s meaningful for them when it comes to memorialization, whether it’s planting a tree in memory of a loved one, inscribing a name in stone, joining others in a grief meditation or tying a ribbon to our Living Memory Tree, we intend to bring more offerings forward that encourage personal and collective remembrance so that memorialization becomes more inviting, accessible and relevant for people’s lives today,” says Makowske.

 

Events and Activities this Year

Visitors can learn about the virtual and seasonal activities taking place this year at lakewoodcemetery.org/150. All activities are open to the public and will follow the latest Covid-19 mandates and guidelines. More experiences and events will be added as the year goes on.

STORY COLLECTING

Lakewood is collecting memories from everyone who has a personal connection to this storied place. This includes stories from people who have loved ones memorialized at Lakewood, people who grew up or have lived nearby, and people who have a love of a history, gardens, art or cemeteries. Whatever your interest or connection, Lakewood would love to hear about it. Visit lakewoodcemetery.org/150 or follow us on Facebook and Instagram. #lakewood150 #mylakewoodstory

SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS

Lakewood offers a series of memorable outdoor events tied to each season that have become an annual tradition for many families and the community. Seasonal events are open to the public and include celebrations of Earth Day, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Midsummer Memory Mandalas, Lantern Lighting and Fall Colors.

EXPLORE LAKEWOOD SERIES

Visitors can discover the natural and historic treasures of this unique urban sanctuary through a wide array of tours, walks and activities focused on interests such as art & architecture, bird watching, photography, sketching and more. These events and experiences are carefully curated to allow guests to view Lakewood through a new lens.

THE LAKEWOOD EXPERIENCE SERIES

The Lakewood Experience Series offers immersive experiences created to expand understanding and bring new depth and meaning to subjects like grief, healing and remembrance through personal reflection and creative expression. Some of the experiences in this series include grief meditations, legacy writing workshops, journaling, mandala-making, art therapy, and Lakewood’s Living Memory Tree, a tree of colorful ribbons dedicated by community members to those they love and have lost.

LEARN @ LAKEWOOD SERIES

Sparking conversations on topics related to death, dying and memorialization, Learn @ Lakewood workshops and seminars explore diverse perspectives from experts and professionals in their field. Topics range from Death Café discussions to end-of-life planning and diverse memorialization traditions and practices.

Visit lakewoodcemetery.org/150 to learn more or follow us on Facebook and Instagram to swap stories, see upcoming events, learn about Lakewood’s history, and join in the celebration. #lakewood150 #mylakewoodstory

About Lakewood — A Place to Remember -

Lakewood is a serene haven in the heart of Minneapolis’s renowned Chain of Lakes—a place to come together to honor, remember and reflect. Since 1871, Lakewood’s 250 acres of urban memorial parkland have served as a community gathering place and a chronicle of our region’s traditions, cultures and people. A history keeper and a thought leader, Lakewood honors its roots as a landmark cemetery while reimaging its role in modern life, through thoughtfully designed events, experiences and spaces.

Today, Lakewood is making memorialization more relevant, accessible and inviting for new audiences and generations—with more creativity and choices. As a nonprofit organization governed by a board of trustees, Lakewood is committed to preserving and enhancing our grounds and architectural treasures, and we use proceeds generated from activities and events for that purpose.

Visitors can learn about the virtual and seasonal activities taking place this year at lakewoodcemetery.org/150. All activities are open to the public and will follow the latest Covid-19 mandates and guidelines. More experiences and events will be added as the year goes on.


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