Tour the historic Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery on Memorial Day

A Memorial Day tour is your opportunity to pass through the gates and explore Minneapolis’ oldest cemetery. Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, located at 2925 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis, is the final resting place of many who shaped the City's history including territorial pioneers — Charles Christmas, Edwin Hedderly, and Philander Prescott — military veterans who fought in wars ranging from the War of 1812 to World War I, and members of Minneapolis’ early African-American community. Several thousand immigrants, primarily from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, are also buried here, and over half of the cemetery’s 20,000 residents are children.

The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission, the City of Minneapolis, Preserve Minneapolis, and Friends of the Cemetery are offering a tour of the historic cemetery on Monday, May 31, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. The tour begins at the cemetery office and will be lead by Sue Hunter-Weir. A seated, 45-minute talking tour will be followed by an optional one-hour walking tour. The tour is free; however, space is limited. Arrive 15 minutes early to register.

The cemetery is one of the few in the U.S. (and the only one in Minnesota) listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It received its historic designation for the significance of the contributions of those buried in the cemetery and for its distinctive architectural features such as the caretaker’s cottage (1871) and the flag pole, fence, gates, and monuments to territorial women and military veterans (1920s and 30s).

The cemetery tour is one of 21 summer walking tours offered by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and the Community Planning and Economic Development Department. For a complete listing of tours and registration information, visit Heritage Preservation Commission.

Published May 26, 2010