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Calvary Cemetery Monument

New Monument in Calvary Cemetery (11/12/48)

Wisconsin Historical Society Image ID: WHi-55469

Resurrection Cemetery Lost to History

By the 1860s, it was clear the Greenbush Cemetery was too small. The Catholics bought land for a new cemetery, Calvary, next to the city's Forest Hill Cemetery, which had been laid out in 1858 west of town. After Calvary was opened in 1863, the Greenbush Cemetery was abandoned. As the years passed, a considerable number of families moved bodies from Greenbush to Calvary as other family members died and were buried in the new cemetery. (All of the graves in Resurrection with death dates before 1863 fit this category.) In some cases, however, families were too poor to relocate their loved ones, or moved away from Madison, so many bodies remained at Greenbush. As attention focused on Calvary, the Greenbush Cemetery fell into disrepair.

By the turn of the 20th century, Dead Lake Ridge itself was quickly disappearing. Composed of gravel, it was relentlessly quarried b a number of firms for material to build Madison's roads and to fill low-lying areas. The irreplaceable effigy mounds that once crowned the ridge were thoughtlessly destroyed in the process. Today, only a small portion of the ridge above the bear dens at Henry Vilas Park Zoo remains, crowned with a cluster of effigy mounds that hint at past magnificence.

In 1902 there was a brief effort to restore the cemetery, but the effort was soon abandoned. In 1908, Catholics decided the abandoned cemetery would make an excellent location for a hospital. The following year, they obtained permission from the Bishop in Milwaukee (Madison's diocese wouldn't exist for another some 30 years) to use the site. Sometime between 1909 and May, 1911, when workers began to dig the foundation for St. Mary's, the remaining bodies were moved to Calvary Cemetery. By then, coffins had deteriorated and bodies had decayed, making it difficult to distinguish one individual from another. Those bodies were eventually reburied in Calvary Cemetery and are today marked with a historical marker.

For many years, the Milwaukee Diocese hired illiterate Irish to dig graves. As a result, early records are skimpy. Calvary and Holy Cross Cemeteries were later merged to form Resurrection Cemetery.

These individuals are later arrivals in the cemetery and warranted little mention in the Madison newspapers. Whether it is due to nationality, gender, or perhaps they lived further out in the county, is currently unknown. We welcome your assistance in filling in the pixels of their life stories.

Amato, Domenico (1885-1927), and Angela Aliota (1886-1950), H-45 on our spotter map. Their sons operated Amato's Holiday House, a popular restaurant in Madison.

Birch, David (Sep 8, 1878-Sep 8, 1878), A-40. Neither of infant sons of David and Christina lived past the day of their birth.

Boehm, Anna M. (Mar 31, 1800-Aug 28, 1875), B-37.

Cline, Michael (May 15, 1861-Jun 23, 1870), C-30. Michael was the young son of Matthew and Catherine Cline.

Costanza, Domenica (1875-Dec 22, 1910), A-43. Domenica was among the first Italian-Sicilians buried in the cemetery.

Crossen, Bridget Riley (1778-Sep 1885), C-32. Bridget, a native of Ireland, lived to be 107 years old. She was, as far as we know, the longest-lived person buried at Resurrection.

Devine, Ellen James (1858-1881), G-39. Ellen was the wife of Patrick Devine.

DiTrapani, John (1896-1930) and Giuseppina (-Oct 19, 1924), H-25. The DiTrapanis were natives of Italy. Their headstone is one of the more elaborate in Resurrection. Ellis Island authorities changed their last name to Trapino.

Donahue, George W. (-Jun 28, 1866) and Isabelle (-Jul 3, 1869), C-57.

Dunn, Thomas (1797-Aug 13, 1857), and Elizabeth R. (1809-Jun 12, 1879), G-16. Both of the Dunns were from parish Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland. They resided in Fitchburg.

Fogarty, Mary (1790-Aug 11, 1855), C-34.

Foley, Matthew. (Jun 4, 1817-Mar 29, 1869), C-35. Foley was born at Balivadan, County Westmeath, Ireland.

Gammino, Gilorma (Oct 24, 1892-Mar 31, 1913), H-27. Gilorma was born in Palermo, Sicily.

Haggerty, Thomas (Aug 12, 1849-Feb 29, 1864), C-58.

Hannan, Julia (Jan 7, 1862-Jul 7, 1866), C-52. Julia is buried with the Tobin family; they were her grandparents.

Heasse, Julia Burke (1864-1889), G-12. "Her infant child sleeps in her arms."

Henlo family, C-77. Three young children are buried in this family plot beneath a marker that has been almost erased by time. George P. (-Jul 28, 1871), Emma M. (Jul 18, 1869-May 28, 1871), and another son (Oct 1, 1873-Oct 16, 1873), whose name is unreadable.

Higgins, Michael (-Jan 1, 1889), B-86.

Hurley, John (1817-Mar 17, 1866), C-37.

Judge, Bryne (1816-Mar 10, 1863) and Mary (-Aug 9, 1885), C-68. Mary lived on Blount Street between Main and Washington after Bryne's death.

Kelley, Winneford (1836-May 19, 1871), C-75. Winneford was the daughter of John and Mary Kelley.

Kerich children, B-42. Maria C. (Apr 6, 1869-Apr 26, 1873), Roba E. (Mar 11, 1872-Jul 20, 1877), John A. (Nov 6, 1876-Sep 28, 1877), Elizabeth M. (Feb 7, 1881-Jan 14, 1882).

McDonnell children, G-42. The stone of Eddie (1874-Aug 9, 1880) and Jennie (-Aug 9, 1873) has been obscured by time.

McSorley, Mary Corman (-May 8, 1861), C-42.

Meier, Maria Anna (May 1820-Jan 13, 1876), B-44.

Merrill, Martha Kelly (Jul 7, 1860-Apr 29, 1862), C-38.

Moran, Jennie (aka Jane?, b. 1870), Alice, Mary Ann (b. 1852 or 1853), and Thomas (-), C-43. Jennie and Alice share one grave; Mary Ann and Thomas another. There are no birth or death dates on their markers. Children of Michael and Ellen Moran.

Mouran, Patrick (1807-Apr 25, 1872) and Mary (1816-May 5, 1891), C-44. Their son was Patrick (1850-Jan 1, 1857).

O'Rourke, Mary (1844-Apr 18, 1863), C-56.

Schneider, Maria (1825-Oct 31, 1869), B-46.

Spatola, Antonino (Nov 13, 1880-Jun 26, 1915), H-35. Spatola was born in Palermo.

Smith, Kate Conlin (1853-Apr 21, 1900), F-6. Kate, the daughter of Bridget Conlin, lived at 203 N. Paterson Street.

Stormer, Russell R. (Oct 20, 1918-Oct 1, 1936), C-50. Stormer, who lived at 213 Marion Street, died after a long illness. His grave marker was homemade.

Tobin, Julia (1794-Oct 29, 1864), C-52. Julia's children included Thomas (1822-May 21, 1891), Michael (1827-Apr 1884), and James (1835-Apr 18, 1868).