WELCOME TO CROWN HILL! 
We invite you to join us throughout 2017 on our award-winning guided tours and deeply meaningful and fun events. Our tours were twice voted the "Best Walking Tour" by Indianapolis Monthly magazine and were chosen as one of nine "Terrific Tours" by Midwest Living magazine! Our Public Tours were also featured in "A Cemetery to Die For" -- an article in AAA's Home & Away Magazine.

Please enjoy the cemetery as a beautiful and peaceful urban green space and oasis. It's the perfect place to study the lives of the over 200,000 people who call Crown Hill home, as well as to study the vast amount of history, art, architecture, and nature. There are countless other features that make Crown Hill such a wonderful place to visit, with 25 miles of roads and hundreds of acres to enjoy. We ask that you kindly respect the privacy of other cemetery visitors, especially those visiting grave sites, crypts, or attending funerals.  

Below is a list of our Public Tours and Events for 2017. While most tours continue in inclement weather (unless it's severe), some events may be cancelled in the event of rain. For more information about our Public Tours (fees, where to meet, etc.), please scroll down to the bottom this page. 

Follow us on TWITTER & FACEBOOK! A highlight of our Twitter feed are tweets from Tour Guide and Crown Hill history buff Tom Davis about many people buried at Crown Hill, historical events and trivia, tours, photos, etc. You can find us on Twitter (@CrownHillCem). And be sure to follow the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation and Crown Hill Cemetery on Facebook.

Visit our Google Calendar for historic dates in addition to our Tours & Events. 

Crown Hill's 150th national award-winning anniversary coffee table book, Crown Hill: History, Spirit, Sanctuary, is available for sale at the Funeral Home and Cemetery office and at most of our events. It can be purchased for $40 with cash, credit card, or check. You can learn more about our popular book HERE.


~ JANUARY 1 - NEW YEAR'S DAY HOLIDAY
Sunday - Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED

~ JANUARY 2 - NEW YEAR'S DAY HOLIDAY OBSERVED
Monday - Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED

~ ONGOING 
"BEFORE I DIE" Wall 

Follow the what's happening on Crown Hill's "BEFORE I DIE" wall on FACEBOOK
A cemetery is an excellent place to contemplate how to fully live! As part of a world-wide public art movement, Crown Hill Cemetery and Heritage Foundation erected a "Before I Die" wall in April 2016 in participation with the "Before I Die" Festival presented by the I.U. School of Nursing. We anticipated the wall remaining in place for a couple of months, but through the urging of the public we will continue to make this unique interactive wall available. Please follow the "Before I Die" wall on Facebook for many of the latest postings, and you're encouraged to visit the wall in person to be inspired and moved by what people share, and especially to share your own hopes and dreams. Visit as many times as you'd like! You can also follow the Facebook page and share your hopes and dreams, and photos, if you'd like! ("Before I Die" walls are a global participatory public art project begun by Candy Chang. She shares her story in this inspiring TED Talk.)
Directions: to find the wall easily, enter the north gate at 38th St. & Clarendon Rd., proceed to the south grounds through the underpass and stay to the right until you see the wall on the right. IMPORTANT: around mid-April the wall will be moved to around the corner to the right from its current location. FREE

~ MARCH 20
Sunday - Cemetery is open from 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
FIRST DAY OF SPRING!
We invite you to visit us frequently this spring. In addition to seeing some of the most beautiful flowering trees around, you'll also be able to see a Living Legacy! Featured at the memorial for Helen Link, who is buried at Crown Hill with her husband Goethe, are unique hybrids of Daffodils she developed on their 17-acre property, just south of Mooresville, IN. Her fondness for daffodils began in childhood and through the years she planted thousands of bulbs representing 1,100 varieties, with many being her own cultivars. You can read about Mrs. Link and her daffodils here, and see more photos of her flowers. Goethe and Helen Link are buried on the east side of Section 67.

~ APRIL 7 - TICKETS for GHOST STORIES go on sale!
You can purchase them HERE. Ghost Stories will he held on October 14; more info at the link and below!

~ MAY 1 - TICKETS for six MUSIC OF THE NIGHT concerts go on sale! 
You can purchase them HERE. Music of the Night concerts will he held on October 19, 20, 21 & 26, 27, 28; more info at the link and below! Buy your tickets early; it's very limited seating and the concerts always sell out!

~ MAY 29 - MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY
Monday
- Funeral Home & Cemetery Office, Cemetery Grounds, & Community Mausoleum OPEN all day; Gothic Chapel OPEN Noon-4:00 p.m.

 
~ MAY 29
Monday, Memorial Day
(Event times noted below)
EVENTS & PUBLIC TOUR: MEMORIAL DAY CIVIL WAR REENACTORS, CEREMONIES, BAND CONCERT, & TOUR
Download the Memorial Day EVENT FLYER & LOCATION MAP. All ceremony locations will be noted this map, which will also be distributed at the gates on Memorial Day. All ceremonies and the tour are free. The ceremonies will be held in the event of rain but may be relocated to the Crown Hill Funeral Home if necessary. The Gothic Chapel will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Feel free to bring a picnic and join us all day.

  • 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. - CIVIL WAR CANNON FIRINGS
    Beginning at approximately 9:00 a.m. by the Confederate Mound on Section 32, you can visit the 18th Indiana Light Artillery reenactors to talk about and fire their cannon. They will relocate to the National Cemetery area (by the large Howitzer guns) for the annual Memorial Day Ceremony around 1:30 p.m. They will fire a round at the beginning of the ceremony at 2:00 p.m., and also fire during the 21-gun salute. The 18th Indiana Light Artillery was founded in 1863 by Eli Lilly who was elected Captain of the battery. "Lilly's Hoosier Battery" served with distinction in numerous battles during the American Civil War. The 18th Indiana reenactment group is commanded by Captain Joseph Snell.
  • 9:30 a.m. and throughout the day - GATLING GUN & CANNON DEMONSTRATIONS 
    Beginning at approximately 9:30 am you can visit Mike Marsh and the 1st Wisconsin reenactors as they talk about and demonstrate their Gatling gun. They'll be located at Richard Gatling's memorial on the west side of the National Cemetery. Civil War reenactors Mike and Cathy Smith will be firing a large cannon nearby.
  • 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. - HISTORIC GOTHIC CHAPEL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 
    Crown Hill's historic Gothic Chapel will be open for visitors to enjoy. This beautiful chapel was built in 1875 for $39,000 and was restored in 2004-2005 for $2.5 million. Please stop by and see this priceless treasure, including the custom-built organ! (Note that Crown Hill's 149th Annual Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony will be held behind the Gothic Chapel, on the grounds of the Crown Hill National Cemetery.)
  • 11:00 a.m. - SONS OF UNION VETERANS MEMORIAL SERVICE
    The Sons of Union Veterans will honor Civil War General George McGinnis during their annual Memorial Service to be held at his grave site on the east side of Section 14. General McGinnis is the father of Mary Ella McGinnis, whose likeness is depicted in the popular "Little Girl Statue" on their burial lot.
  • 12:00 Noon-3:00 p.m. - VISIT WITH CIVIL WAR REENACTORS
    You'll be able to visit with reenactors and learn about what it was like during the Civil War era. To find the location, enter either cemetery entrance and follow the yellow line on the road until you see the orange cones and event signs for the Civil War Memorial Service. The reenactors will be located in the large field. (Times are approximate.)
  • 12:45-1:20 p.m. - CROWN HILL CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL SERVICE
    Download the event FLYER

    The Crown Hill Civil War Memorial Service will be held at the Confederate Mound on Section 32 and will be conducted by Civil War reenactors. They'll honor the 1,616 Confederate fallen at the Confederate Mound (a National Cemetery), then march to the Crown Hill National Cemetery and honor the thousands of Union fallen interred there. To find the location, enter either cemetery entrance and follow the yellow line on the road until you see the orange cones and event signs.
  • 1:30-2:00 p.m. - BAND CONCERT
    The traditional 30-minute patriotic band concert will be performed for the first time by the Navy Band Great Lakes. We welcome them! Known as "America's Band," this 25-member ceremonial band will be led by Chief Musician Daniel Bethel. (The concert will be held at the National Cemetery, located directly behind the historic Gothic Chapel, built in 1875).
  • 2:00-3:00 p.m. - 149th ANNUAL MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY
    Crown Hill presents the longest-running Memorial Day Ceremony in Indiana at the Crown Hill National Cemetery, located behind the Gothic Chapel. Featured this year will be two distinguished speakers, Chaplain (LTC) Jim Staggers (pictured L), Deputy State Chaplain of the Indiana Army National Guard and Division Chaplain of the 38th Infantry Division, and U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (pictured R), representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate since 2013. Senator Donnelly previously served the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana in the House of Representatives after being elected in 2006, 2008, and 2010. 

    We're pleased to have the support of the men and women of the Indiana Army National Guard as they join us again as they have for many years. A Howitzer 21-gun salute will be conducted by the Indiana Army National Guard (pictured below), with patriotic music provided by "The Central Sound," a Lawrence Central High School choir. A special Vietnam War Anniversary Pinning Ceremony will be conducted for all Vietnam Veterans with beautiful pin (pictured L) provided by the VA to honor the men and woman who served and sacrificed. Appreciation for these brave men and women is long overdue. In addition, a Roll Call for Indiana POWs and MIAs in Vietnam will be conducted by the Vietnam Veterans of America. Folding chairs will be available or feel free to bring your own chair or blanket. Cookies and bottled water will also be available, as well as indoor restrooms. You're welcome to arrive early or stay late to picnic. (The funeral home and cemetery office closes at 5 p.m. but the gates will remain open until 8:00 p.m.)  
  • 3:00 p.m. (approximately) "VETERANS" WALKING TOUR
    You're invited to take a free 1-hour guided walking tour of historic Crown Hill Cemetery immediately following the ceremony featuring the graves of soldiers who lost their lives in battle. This interesting tour will be led by Tom Davis, an expert Crown Hill Tour Guide. Included on his tour will be the grave of the last soldier buried in the National Cemetery, an airman killed in action in Vietnam.

    Feel free to come and spend the day with us. In addition to the Civil War Equipment Display by the Confederate Mound on Section 32, there will be Gatling Gun demonstrations at Richard Gatling's memorial (on the western edge of the National Cemetery), as well as other Civil War cannons by the National Cemeteries. 

~ JUNE 6
Monday, 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
EVENT: 21st Annual "SPIRIT OF FREEDOM"

This highly educational event is a celebration the many thousands of African-Americans who fought during the Civil War. These U.S.C.T. (United States Colored Troops) represented one-tenth of the Union Army, which is a little known fact of our Civil War history. Of the 1,537 members of the U.S.C.T. who fought for Indiana, 225 are buried within the Crown Hill National Cemetery. During this event students rotate between three stages as a number of Civil War reenactors share first person accounts from their character's experiences and stories of other important African-Americans who had a major impact upon the outcome of the Civil War. Students learn from Mr. Andrew Bowman (pictured here), reenacting his grandfather, Color Sergeant Andrew Jackson Smith, who fought with the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Clinton in January 2001. Among the highlights is a Civil War Cannon firing demonstration. Spirit of Freedom is presented in partnership with the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, Indianapolis Public School's Multi-Cultural Education Department, Storyteller's Drum, and others. Also participating are students from Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School who provide the Honor Guard and Drum Line.
This event involves 1,500 5th grade students from Indianapolis Public Schools. The public is invited to attend as well. Please bring a blanket or folding chair to sit on, and a picnic lunch if desired. Spirit of Freedom will be cancelled in the event of rain. Free.

~ JUNE 10
Saturday, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
(See the sunset!)
PUBLIC TOUR: "HERITAGE" [PDF] Our most popular walking tour
This tour presents the history of Crown Hill Cemetery while visiting the graves of some of the many interesting people buried here, both the famous and not so famous, recent and long gone. A variety of monuments will be seen, including some of our most recognized statues, including that of the iconic Eastman Angel, pictured here. (This is just one of the many interesting stops we'll make on this popular tour. Click on the PDF file above for a list of other stops we may visit.) Tour participants will also have an opportunity to enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view of the downtown Indianapolis skyline at sunset from the memorial of the famous Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, high atop beautiful Crown Hill. This tour captures highlights from many of our other tours and is interesting for all ages. Highly recommended!
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most. (This tour will be repeated on July 15, August 19, and October 22.)

~ JUNE 17
Saturday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (See the sunset!) 
PUBLIC TOUR: "ANGELS OF CROWN HILL" guided walking tour
Angel Visitations ... Crown Hill is home to many angel statue monuments, from delicate marble angels of the Victorian era to very recent angels of granite and bronze. Most are very large with crosses, but one in particular is a very small marble angel featuring the words to "Silent Night" carved on its base in German. Angels are such a popular and important spiritual symbol in cemeteries, churches, and in the lives of millions of people, so it's nice to pay special attention to them on a guided tour. Please join us as we stroll through a part of the cemetery to see some of Crown Hill's angel statues during the beautiful "golden hour" of light leading up to sunset. Tour participants are encouraged to bring their cameras and capture images of these sacred statues in the special light. On this tour we'll also learn about the families who erected these beautiful statues, and enjoy the stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the downtown Indianapolis skyline at sunset from the tomb of the famous Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, high atop beautiful Crown Hill.
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most. 

~ JUNE 24
Saturday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. 
(See the sunset!)
NEW! PUBLIC TOUR: "VICTORIAN SYMBOLISM" guided walking tour
On this walking tour we'll explore some of the interesting examples of Victorian symbolism on monuments and markers found throughout Crown Hill and try to understand what mean in the context of the era when they were created. If you've ever wondered about the unique tree trunk monuments, you'll learn the meaning of the number of branches, as well as if they're broken or not. Common symbols are flowers, ferns, weeping willows, stars, anchors, chains, draped flags, lambs, sun disks, serpents, angels, crosses, open books, and wreaths, just to name a few. Shown here is the top of the monument for Joshua Black (1788-1879), a carpenter from Maryland who relocated to Indianapolis in 1826 and is buried on Sec. 5. It shows a weeping willow and some stars. What do they mean? (According to the rest of his stone, Mr. Black was a First Lieutenant in the War of 1812, a member of the Council of Indianapolis and the Methodist Church.) Unlike many of our monuments and markers today which sometimes have engravings of literal representations to reveal the life of the deceased (a piano, dog, etc.), Victorian stones are highly symbolic. On this tour we'll look at these symbols and try to understand what they say about the people buried beneath them. 
This is a walking tour that will cover about a mile at a comfortable pace for most. (Another new tour of interest will be held on September 23 and is titled "Stones that Talk," which will explore contemporary stones and what their more literal symbols and shapes they tell us about the deceased.) 


Reenactors representing Indianapolis Motor Speedway® founders Arthur Newby, Frank Wheeler, Carl Fisher, and James Allison, with Crown Hill Tour Guide Tom Davis in the center. Following the Crown Hill Racing Legacy historic marker unveiling on June 25, join Tom a walking tour to the gravesites of these four legends and visit with each one!

~ JUNE 25
Sunday, 2:00 p.m.
NEW EVENT: "CELEBRATING INDY RACING LEGENDS" 
Featuring Famed Historian Donald Davidson
Join us to celebrate the Indy Racing legends who rest at Crown Hill, all with connections to Indianapolis Motor Speedway® and the racing world, including the Speedway founders, drivers, owners, mechanics, car manufacturers, and many others. (Download our Indianapolis Auto Greats list here.) A beautiful Historic Marker will be unveiled, similar to the one pictured below but with different text. This sign was installed at Marian University. 

Presented by the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation and the Indiana Racing Memorial Association (IRMA), this event will be held at the foot of the hill where Carl Fisher's private mausoleum stands on the east side of Section 13. In addition to the unveiling of the marker, the celebration will feature popular Speedway broadcaster Howdy Bell as MC, famed Speedway Historian Donald Davidson sharing the history of these racing legends, a visit with the four founders (pictured above), a barbershop quartet, refreshments, and a guided walking tour to the founder's grave sites. Maps will be distributed for those wishing to find many other racing notables buried and entombed at Crown Hill. 
The walking tour will last approximately 60 minutes and cover less than one mile at a comfortable pace for most. Crown Hill Tour Guide Tom Davis will be leading participants to the grave sites of all four Speedway founders where they can visit with each one. Dress is casual; wear appropriate walking shoes. Some chairs provided or bring your own. Enter either cemetery gate and follow the traffic cones to the parking area. Handicap parking available. FREE! 

The Indiana Racing Memorial Association, Inc. (IRMA), is a non-profit organization whose mission is to recognize the historically significant individuals, events, locations, and race tracks that have made Indiana the "Racing Capital of the World." They design, produce, and erect race-themed historic markers at appropriate locations throughout the State. The IRMA board is comprised of individuals that represent a cross section of those involved in motor sports in Indiana, including: authors, announcers, fans, drivers, museum curators, promoters, reporters, sports writers, and others. Visit IRMA online or on Facebook.

~ JULY 4 - INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAY
Tuesday - Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED
Have a safe holiday!

~ JULY 8
Saturday, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
(Morning tour)
PUBLIC TOUR: "CIVIL WAR" guided walking tour
Did you know that Crown Hill Cemetery was founded in 1863 because of the Civil War? The original city cemetery, Greenlawn, became full due to the many Civil War soldiers being buried there. The Civil War was still being fought when Crown Hill opened its gates in June 1864, and the first burial was for the young wife of a Civil War Union Captain. On our Civil War tour we'll examine the lives of the many brave soldiers and generals who took part in the War Between the States, and of the politicians, journalists, and even household servants whose lives influenced and were influenced by our country's great conflict. Included on this tour is Oliver P. Morton (bust pictured), Indiana's 14th Governor, who led the state during the Civil War and was greatly appreciated by the Union troops. 
This is a walking tour that will be led by Crown Hill Tour Guide, Civil War expert, and author Nikki Schofield. It will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.

~ JULY 15
Saturday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (See the sunset!)
PUBLIC TOUR: 
"HERITAGE" [PDF] Our most popular walking tour
This tour presents the history of Crown Hill Cemetery while visiting the graves of some of the many interesting people buried here, both the famous and not so famous, recent and long gone. A variety of monuments will be seen, including some of our most recognized statues. The William H. English family monument and circle lot (pictured here) will be included and tour participants will learn about the fascinating history of the prominent English family, owners of the beautiful English Hotel and Opera House, located on the northwest quadrant of Indianapolis' Monument Circle in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (This is just one of the many interesting stops we'll make on this popular tour. Click on the PDF file above for a list of other stops we may visit.) Tour participants will also have an opportunity to enjoy the stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the downtown Indianapolis skyline at sunset from the tomb of the famous Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, high atop beautiful Crown Hill. This tour captures highlights from many of our other tours and is interesting for all ages. Highly recommended!
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most. (This tour will be repeated on August 19 and October 22.)

~ JULY 22
Saturday, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (approximately)
EVENT: COPS CYCLING FOR SURVIVORS Ceremony
Welcome home IMPD and other Indiana police officers who have raised thousands of dollars to aid families of fallen officers while on their nearly 1,000-mile bicycle trek around the state, which took two weeks. Meet at the Heroes of Public Safety Memorial before 2:00 p.m. to greet them when they arrive at the memorial, where a special ceremony will be held in memory of fallen officers. You can read more about Cops Cycling for Survivors here.
(Directions: enter the 34th St. gate at 3400 Boulevard Place and follow the white line painted on the road up the hill to the Gothic Chapel and then turn left and you'll see the Heroes of Public Safety memorial and section.)

~ JULY 22
Saturday, 7:30-9:30 p.m. (See the sunset!)
PUBLIC TOUR: "DILLINGER & EASTSIDE NOTABLES" guided walking tour
This walking tour includes the sections just north of the Waiting Station, which is a part of the cemetery not regularly covered on other walking tours. Bank robber John Dillinger's  grave will of course be one of our destinations. We will also stop at the graves of many other interesting and important people, and others - although unknown - have memorialized themselves with some rather unique monuments. This side of the cemetery features a number of beautiful angel statues and a couple of big lions. The photo above was taken on this tour while the group was visiting the memorial for Indianapolis 500 race car driver and car owner Tony Bettenhausen Jr. and his wife Shirley, who died in a tragic plane crash on Valentine's Day 2000.
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.
 
~ AUGUST 6
Sunday, Gates open at 2 pm; MusicFest for MS begins at 3 pm
EVENT: "MUSICFEST FOR MS" presented by Jones Lang LaSalle
Popular Country Music Artists AARON TIPPIN and RAY SCOTT will headline the third annual MusicFest for MS, presented this year by Jones Lang LaSalle. Gates open at 2 pm and MusicFest for MS begins at 3 pm. Held on one of the beautiful lawns of historic Crown Hill Cemetery, guests are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the afternoon with us while supporting an excellent cause. Food and alcohol will be available for purchase. Known as "The Hardest Working Man in Country Music," Aaron Tippin is a very accomplished musical artist who has succeeded for over 25 years in country music. Popular singles include "You've Got to Stand for Something," "Kiss This," and "Where The Stars And Stripes And Eagle Fly." Ray Scott is an excellent country storyteller. His critically acclaimed debut album My Kind of Music was released in 2005, and his fifth album, Guitar for Sale, is to be released this year. Hits include "My Kind of Music," "Those Jeans," and "Drinkin' Beer." Discount Lawn and VIP Tickets are available in advance online and regular priced tickets will be available at the gate. Plenty of free parking and portable restrooms will be available. Proceeds from the concert will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Indiana Chapter. It's organized annually by Team MiSion Possible, which includes Crown Hill Funeral Home & Cemetery. For more Info and to Purchase Tickets: MusicFest for MS

~ AUGUST 12
Saturday, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
(Morning tour)
PUBLIC TOUR: "TREASON IN INDIANAPOLIS" guided walking tour
Led by Civil War expert and Crown Hill Tour guide Nikki Schofield, also author of the Civil War novel, Treason Afoot, this tour explores the lives of men and women who were involved in the Indianapolis Treason Trials, which began in the federal courthouse in Indianapolis in September 1864. The individuals involved were charged with "conspiracy against the government of the United States, conspiracy to aid the rebellion, and conspiracy to overthrow the government of the United States." If unfamiliar with the Indianapolis Treason Trials, you can read more about them in this piece written by William Rehnquist (1924-2005), former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, entitled Civil Liberty and the Civil War: The Indianapolis Treason Trials.
This is a 90-minute walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.

~ AUGUST 19
Saturday
(Event times noted below)
EVENT & PUBLIC TOUR: PRESIDENT HARRISON'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION & guided walking tour
Visit the event webpage for photos and to learn more about President Harrison and the wreath-laying ceremony. 
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. - PRESIDENT HARRISON'S WREATH-LAYING CEREMONY
    Join us as we celebrate President Benjamin Harrison's birthday at his memorial on Section 13. President Harrison (1833-1901), our nation's 23rd president, served from 1889-1893. He was an Indianapolis lawyer and later served as a Civil War Colonel in the 70th Volunteer Infantry. Harrison, a Republican, won the presidential election in 1889 and served one term. His actual birthday is August 20th, so this year we'll be celebrating his 184th birthday the day before. Ceremony participants will be announced. 
  • 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - "PRESIDENT HARRISON & HERITAGE" guided walking tour
    Learn interesting facts about President Harrison and his family on this one-hour guided walking tour. Other notables will also be included.
    The ceremony will be held at President Harrison's memorial on Section 13, located at the base of the Crown. Follow the white line painted on the road from either cemetery entrance. Refreshments will be available following the ceremony. The tour will depart from his memorial following the ceremony. The ceremony will be held in the event of rain but may be moved indoors. The tour may be cancelled in the event of rain. Both the ceremony and tour are FREE.

~ AUGUST 19
Saturday, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (See the sunset!)
PUBLIC TOUR: "HERITAGE" [PDF] Our most popular walking tour!
This tour presents the history of Crown Hill Cemetery while visiting the graves of some of the many interesting people buried here, both the famous and not so famous, recent and long gone. A variety of monuments will be seen, including some of our most recognized statues. A few of the stops will include multiple generations of the Lilly Family, whose influence in Indianapolis began with Eli Lilly, a Civil War Colonel and later founder of Eli Lilly & Company, a global pharmaceutical corporation established in 1876. Crown Hill and the Indianapolis community have benefited greatly from the Lilly Endowment for many years. (This is just one of the many interesting stops we'll make on this popular tour. Click on the PDF file above for a list of other stops we may visit.) Tour participants will also have an opportunity to enjoy the stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the downtown Indianapolis skyline at sunset from the tomb of the famous Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, high atop beautiful Crown Hill. This tour captures highlights from many of our other tours and is interesting for all ages. Highly recommended!
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most. (This tour will be repeated on October 22.)

~ AUGUST 26
Saturday, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (See the sunset!)
NEW! PUBLIC TOUR: "YEAR OF VONNEGUT & HOOSIER AUTHORS" guided walking tour
Indianapolis has declared 2017 as "The Year of Vonnegut" and we will be highlighting the many ties Crown Hill has to Kurt Vonnegut and his family. Kurt (1922-2007) is buried in an unknown location not at Crown Hill. On this tour we'll visit the graves of Vonnegut family members (his parents, sister, grandparents, two pairs of paternal great grandparents, ex in-laws, and many others), discuss the influence the family had on the city (and Crown Hill), and read some of Kurt Vonnegut's references to Crown Hill scattered throughout his works. The ornate marble monument pictured here is for Pauline Vonnegut, Kurt's great-aunt who was married to Franklin Vonnegut, the first president of Citizen's Gas Co. It was Kurt's grandfather Bernard's architectural firm that designed Crown Hill's Sentry House in 1904, located next to the iconic 34th Street Gothic gate. On this tour we'll also visit the graves of some of the Hoosier authors buried at Crown Hill including James Whitcomb Riley, Booth Tarkington, Meredith Nicholson, and Etheridge Knight, plus read mentions of Crown Hill in their works as well. 
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.

~ SEPTEMBER 4 - LABOR DAY HOLIDAY
Monday - Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED
Have a safe holiday weekend!

~ SEPTEMBER 9 
Saturday, 9:30-11:00 a.m. (Morning tour)
PUBLIC TOUR: "CIVIL WAR GENERALS" guided walking tour
On this fascinating tour, visitors will tour the gravesites of Civil War Generals who made a contribution to preserving the Union in very different ways. Among the interesting stories to be shared, participants will learn about Brigadier General Abel Streight, whose large monument is pictured here. Streight led 1,700 troops with 700 mules (against Confederate troops with horses) on an unsuccessful campaign across Alabama and Georgia before being taken POW and held in Libby prison, where he later escaped through a tunnel with 107 fellow POWs. His efforts were still considered important to the eventual success by other Generals. His wife Lovina assisted Abel in the south by taking care of the medical needs of the troops and was a POW three times. She was buried with full military honors in a large funeral. This tour also includes accounts of John Coburn saving Democrat (and later U.S. VP) Thomas Hendricks from being assassinated on May 20, 1863, in Indianapolis, and Jefferson C. Davis shooting his commanding officer and getting away with it in 1862. 
This is a 90-minute walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.

~ SEPTEMBER 16
Saturday, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
PUBLIC TOUR: "HEROES & HERITAGE" guided walking tour (See the sunset!)
This walking tour is held in conjunction with the popular Beyond the Badge 5K Run/Walk  taking place next morning, Sunday, September 18th. On the eve of the 15th Anniversary of Beyond the Badge 5K Run/Walk, we'll this tour will learn stories of courage and sacrifice of some of our Public Safety heroes buried on the Heroes of Public Safety Section. Jerry Baker, father of Sheriff's Deputy Jason M. Baker (who was killed in the line of duty in September 2001), will be on hand to share stories of Jason and of others buried in the special section. In addition, this tour includes information from our popular Heritage Tour, which presents the history of Crown Hill Cemetery while visiting the graves of some of the many interesting people buried here, both the famous and not so famous, recent and long gone. A variety of monuments, including some of our most recognized statues, are included, as well as the view of the downtown skyline from James Whitcomb Riley's tomb high atop beautiful Crown Hill. 
This is a 90-minute walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most. 

~ SEPTEMBER 17 - SPECIAL CEMETERY HOURS
Sunday
- Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum CLOSED until approximately 11:30 a.m. due to Beyond the Badge 5K Run/Walk (see below); Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED all day 

~ SEPTEMBER 17
Sunday
(Event times noted below)
EVENT: 16th Annual BEYOND THE BADGE 5K Run/Walk for Teams, Individuals, & Families! It's a Time to Say Thanks!
 
Beyond the Badge is a 5K Run & Walk and a 1.5-mile Family Stroll for teams, individuals, & families. This event honors all of our public safety heroes and gives those attending an opportunity to thank those who serve today and the heroes who have paid the ultimate price to protect us. All proceeds will benefit the Jason M. Baker Public Safety Scholarships created in memory of Jason M. Baker, a Sheriff's Deputy killed in the line of duty on September 17, 2001. These annual scholarships provide funds for students pursuing a degree and career in any field of Public Safety.

Beyond the Badge is a fun and festive 5K Run/Walk and Family Stroll with scenic routes throughout Crown Hill that include the beautiful Heroes of Public Safety memorial and section (pictured above). The 5K route includes the beautiful rolling hills of Crown Hill, with a memorable trip to the top of "the Crown." The 5K run is scored and prizes are awarded. (The 5K fitness walk and family stroll are not scored.) This event features water stops along both routes, refreshments following, drum corps, a church service, roll call of fallen heroes, and other special events.

The following events take place at or near the Community Mausoleum, located inside the north gate of Crown Hill. Please visit the event website  for a lot more information, including how to pre-register.

  • 7:30 a.m. - Registration and Packet Pick-up
  • 8:00 a.m. - Church Service 
  • 8:15 a.m. - Opening Ceremony
  • 9:00 a.m. - 5K Run/Walk Start
  • 9:05 a.m. - Family Stroll Start
  • Refreshments & Awards Ceremony - To follow

~ SEPTEMBER 23
Saturday, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
(See the sunset!)
NEW! PUBLIC TOUR: "STONES THAT TALK" guided driving and walking tour
This interesting driving and walking tour will include some of the sections on the north side of 38th St. not typically included on tours, as well as the Crown. It's a variation of the Victorian Symbolism tour on June 24 which focuses on symbols on monuments and what they mean. Many of the earlier monuments have flowers, wreaths, weeping willows, draped flags, angels, lambs, etc., which all symbolize something. On this tour we'll focus on contemporary monuments and markers which often feature engravings of literal representations that reveal the life of the deceased, as well as stones that are actually shaped to represent that person's interests. A few engraved examples are dogs, planes, pianos, boats, cars, music notes, birds, photographs, etc., and there are monuments shaped like barns, houses, etc. Shown here is the unique monument shaped like a large tennis net with a tennis racket for Stan Malless (1914-2012), who is buried on the Crown down the hill from James Whitcomb Riley. Mr. Malless was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and as symbolized here, Indianapolis' "Mr. Tennis." He made major contributions to the sport locally, nationally, and internationally. He also brought professional tennis to Indianapolis and was responsible for the building of the downtown tennis stadium and getting tennis reinstated as an Olympic sport.
This is a driving and walking tour that will last approximately two hours.

~ OCTOBER 7
Saturday, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
(See the sunset!)
PUBLIC TOUR: "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET, Part I" guided walking tour
On this interesting tour, we'll learn about some skeletons in the closet! Was it one of his three wives, or another long-time lover, that Skiles Test kept in a glass coffin in his "House of Blue Lights" along Fall Creek? Why does one headstone say simply, "Mother of Rosalind" and not her full name, which would have been "Helen Orr Hufnall Phaff English Wegmann English English Prince Prince"? He followed in the footsteps of both his father and grandfather to become bank president, building himself a 40,000 square foot mansion on the east side of town, but by the time Stoughton Fletcher died, he'd lost the house, survived his wife's suicide, a runaway daughter's mysterious death, and was working as a hotel elevator operator in Los Angeles when his son committed suicide as well. On this tour we'll discuss these lives and the lives of others who show us that money does not necessarily bring happiness. (Spoiler alert!)
Note: this is not a creepy tour about ghosts, but a historical tour about some of the people buried at Crown Hill. This is a walking tour that will cover about a mile at a comfortable pace for most.

~ OCTOBER 14
Saturday, 9:30-11:00 a.m. (Morning tour)
PUBLIC TOUR: "TOMBSTONES & TREES" walking tour
Learn about the trees of Crown Hill & their human neighbors. On this tour, participants will see the impressive tombstones, and the equally impressive nearby trees (often much more impressive!), on this leisurely walk through the scenic grounds of the cemetery. This tour will take a closer look at about 20 of the 4,100 trees in the cemetery, some which are not native to Indiana. Among the trees, visitors will hear about some of the interesting people buried at Crown Hill, and what they did during their lives. Enjoy nature and history at the same time! Keep your eyes open for some of our White-tailed deer like those pictured here. Students are welcome to do a leaf collection. When available, our special Tree Maps will be provided, or you can download one at any time from our Nature page
This is a 90-minute walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.

~ OCTOBER 14
Saturday (Event times noted below)
EVENT: 6th Annual GHOST STORIES - TICKETS ON SALE April 7th!
Ghost Stories is a fun outdoor event featuring very talented storytellers from Storytelling Arts of Indiana telling original Ghost Stories beneath a tent in the middle of Crown Hill Cemetery! In addition to Ghost Stories, there are a number of great food trucks to choose from or attendees can bring a picnic dinner. Presented by Storytelling Arts of Indiana and Crown Hill Heritage Foundation. This event will be held even in the event of rain (beneath the tent) as long as it's not dangerous. Discounted TICKETS can be purchased online through Eventbrite beginning on April 7, or at the door. Attendees must enter the 34th St. gate (3400 Boulevard Place). Bring a folding chair or blanket. A flashlight is optional. Portable toilets are available on-site. Free parking, including handicap parking is available.  

  • 6:30 p.m. - 34th Street gate opens (3400 Boulevard Place)
  • 7:30 p.m. - GHOST STORIES begin

~ OCTOBER 19, 20, 21 & 26, 27, 28 (Six Concerts!)
Two Thursdays, Two Fridays, & Two Saturdays (Event times noted below)
EVENTS & TOURS: MUSIC OF THE NIGHT Concerts & "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET, Part I" walking tours - TICKETS ON SALE May 1st!
These sell-out concerts and tours brought to you by the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation are something you don't want to miss! Held in intimate setting of Crown Hill's beautiful and historic Gothic Chapel (1875), these six MUSIC OF THE NIGHT concerts feature professional organist Charles Manning as "The Phantom," along with our awesome "Phantom Vocalists," Eric Wickens (see below) and Leah Crane. They will perform a beautiful medley from the famous "Phantom of the Opera," as well as many familiar TV & movie themes that provide fun entertainment. Mr. Manning and the "Phantom Vocalists" will fill the evening with their wonderful musical gifts as well as humor and drama, followed by great refreshments.


We are deeply saddened to announce that Eric Wickens, one of our amazing Phantom singers, died suddenly on August 12 after singing the National Anthem at a sporting event. Eric was an exceptional and mesmerizing vocalist and wonderful entertainer. In one hour Eric delighted audiences with a number of songs, including the intense Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the funny Monster Mash, and his stunning Phantom of the Opera medley with fellow vocalist Leah Crane. The beauty and power of his voice were huge. Eric entertained thousands of people in the Gothic Chapel over the last nine years and we dedicate our 2017 season to his memory. We extend heartfelt condolences to his wife and young son. (The Music of the Night concerts will continue and we'll be announcing a new vocalist in the future.)
Also included in the ticket price is our ever-popular "Skeletons in the Closet, Part I" guided walking tour conducted by one of Crown Hill's expert tour guides, Tom Davis. On this tour we'll visit many graves and learn the secrets that some had thought they'd carried to their grave. (This is not a creepy tour about ghosts, just interesting facts.) This walking tour will last about an hour and will progress at a comfortable pace for most. Please note that the walking tour is included with the concert ticket and that "tour only" tickets will not be sold.
  • 7:30 p.m. - Gothic Chapel Doors Open
  • 8:00 p.m. - Music of the Night concerts & refreshments
  • 9:30 p.m. - "Skeletons in the Closet, Part I" guided walking tour (Time is approximate. Tour included in the concert ticket. Tour tickets will not be sold separately.)

TICKET INFO: Music of the Night tickets have sold out every year so it's important to get your tickets early! The Gothic Chapel has very limited seating (along with exceptional acoustics and an amazing organ!), and many attendees return every year. All tickets are sold online through Eventbrite and can be PURCHASED HERE. Tickets will not be available at the door.


HELP US PLANT THE REMAINING 200 BICENTENNIAL TREES! Please note when you walk around Crown Hill enjoying the amazing fall foliage like pictured here, the hundreds of Ash trees that have been killed by the Emerald Ash Borer beetle in recent years. In September 2016 we planted over 100 trees with the wonderful help of KIB (Keep America Beautiful) and employees from Eli Lilly for their Day of Service. In 2017, the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation is continuing to raise funds to replace the remaining 200 trees with an ongoing Go Fund Me campaign: "Tomorrow's Canopy: 200 Trees for Crown Hill." A donation of any amount is welcome and no amount is too small! Trees are $300 each and include planting and nurturing. All donations are tax deductible. With your help we can build tomorrow's canopy today!

~ OCTOBER 22 
Sunday, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
PUBLIC TOUR: "HERITAGE" [PDF] Our most popular walking tour!
This tour presents the history of Crown Hill Cemetery while visiting the graves of some of the many interesting people buried here, both the famous and not so famous, recent and long gone. A variety of monuments will be seen, including some of our most recognized statues. One of the stops is the grave site of Lucy Ann Seaton, whose upright marble monument with a willow tree is shown here. Lucy, a 33-year-old mother, moved to Indianapolis from Paducah, Kentucky with her husband John L. Seaton, a Civil War Union Captain. Sadly, Lucy then died of tuberculosis leaving her husband and young daughter behind. Their daughter, also named Lucy, died just four months later and is buried alongside her mother. Mrs. Seaton was laid to rest on June 2, 1864, just one day after the cemetery was dedicated, making her Crown Hill's 1st burial. Captain Seaton put an ad in the newspaper inviting the public to Lucy's funeral, as they were new to the city, and many did attend. Join us on this tour to find out what his ad stated, and the sweet words engraved on her monument. Lucy Ann Seaton and her daughter are buried in Lot 28 on Section 4. It is believed that John Seaton returned to Kentucky and died there in 1886. (This is just one of the many interesting stops we'll make on this popular tour. Click on the PDF file above for a list of other stops we may visit.) Tour participants will also have an opportunity to enjoy the stunning 360-degree panoramic view of the downtown Indianapolis skyline at sunset from the tomb of the famous Hoosier Poet, James Whitcomb Riley, high atop beautiful Crown Hill. This tour captures highlights from many of our other tours and is interesting for all ages. Highly recommended!
This is a walking tour that will cover about one mile at a comfortable pace for most.

 ~ OCTOBER 26, 27, 28 
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday nights
EVENTS & TOURS: MUSIC OF THE NIGHT Concerts & "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET, Part I" walking tours
Please see the concert information above.

~ OCTOBER 29
Sunday, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
PUBLIC TOUR: "SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET, Part II" guided driving tour
More skeletons! On this tour we'll learn about the more sensational stories in the Indianapolis news from the 1860s to the 1970s. A few stops will make will be to learn about the infamous Nancy Clem and the Cold Spring Murders; bank robber John Dillinger; the rising executive slain by his mistress in the 1950s; grave robber Hampton West; the 1977 exploits of kidnapper Tony Kirtsis; Dr. Helene Knabe's brutal unsolved murder in 1911; and the Marjorie Jackson case of 1977. Of course there are many others!
Note: this is not a creepy tour about ghosts, but a historical tour about some of the people buried at Crown Hill. Participants will drive their own vehicles to each stop. 

~ NOVEMBER 23
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY SPECIAL HOURS
Thursday 
Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum will open at 12 noon due to the Turkey Trot (see below). The 38th St. gate closes at 6 pm. The 34th St. gate closes at 5 pm.
Funeral Home & Cemetery Office are CLOSED all day.

~ NOVEMBER 23
Thursday, Thanksgiving morning (Event times noted below)
EVENT: 36th Annual INDIANAPOLIS TURKEY TROT 5K Run/Walk
If you don't have plans for Thanksgiving morning, this is the place to be! Join the hundreds of holiday runners and walkers participating in the 36th Annual Indianapolis Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk through historic Crown Hill Cemetery! There's a good chance you'll see a herd of deer as you enjoy the rolling hills and a trip to the top of the Crown! All registration takes place in the morning of the event beginning at 7:30 a.m. and fees will be announced. All proceeds will benefit the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation. (Make checks payable to Crown Hill Heritage Foundation.) Free parking is available at Crown Hill; access is through the north gate on Clarendon Road (700 W. 38th St.). Refreshments will be offered and the presentation of the most coveted Turkey Trot Trophy will take place immediately following the race. Costumes are encouraged and the  "Best Costume" will be rewarded! Check out the event's Facebook page!

  • 7:30 a.m. - Turkey Trot Registration 
  • 8:30 a.m. - 5K Run Start 
  • 8:40 a.m. - 5K Walk Start

~ DECEMBER 7
Thursday, 7 p.m.
EVENT: CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL SERVICE
Join us for a meaningful candlelight memorial service as we remember and celebrate the lives of our loved ones who are no longer with us. Held in the Crown Hill Funeral Home, this memorial services features seasonal music and a comforting memorial message. Refreshments will be available following the service. The names of loved ones will be read aloud during the service. Please write to info@crownhill.org or call (317) 925-3800 for more information and to share the name of the loved one you want read aloud.

~ DECEMBER 24 - CHRISTMAS EVE
Sunday 
- Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED

~ DECEMBER 25 - CHRISTMAS DAY
Monday 
- Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED

~ DECEMBER 31 - NEW YEAR'S EVE
Sunday - Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED

~ JANUARY 1, 2018 - NEW YEAR'S DAY
Monday 
- Cemetery Grounds & Community Mausoleum OPEN; Funeral Home & Cemetery Office CLOSED


PUBLIC TOUR INFORMATION
Our Award-winning Public Tours are very popular, inexpensive, educational, and fun! Where else can you walk through such an amazing place at the most beautiful times of the day with such excellent tour guides? And since no RSVP is required, they make for a spontaneous fun evening, afternoon, or morning adventure! Almost all are walking tours, with a couple of driving tours. Driving tours require participants to drive their own cars from stop to stop. Many of our Public Tours are scheduled to allow visitors to enjoy the sunset from the top the "Crown," the highest hill in the county, with an amazing 360-degree panoramic view of the entire Indianapolis skyline that can't be found anywhere else!

PUBLIC TOUR FEES: Fees are $5 for adults; $4 for seniors (55+); and $3 for school-age children age 18 and under. (Tips are not necessary but are appreciated but the guides.) No RSVP or minimum number attending is required. There are a couple of free tours during the year: Memorial Day in May and President Harrison's Wreath-laying Ceremony in August.

WHERE TO MEET: Meet the tour guide right inside the 34th St. Gothic stone gate in front of the beautiful and historic Waiting Station building (1885), located at 34th St. and Boulevard Pl. (3400 Boulevard Pl.). This intersection can be easily found on this Google map of Crown Hill. The 34th St. gate closes daily at 5:00 p.m. and is opened for after-hours tours and events. Please arrive 10-15 minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin. Once the tour is scheduled to begin the tour guide will lead everyone to their final parking area (always free parking!) or will proceed on the driving tour route.


WHAT TO WEAR/BRING: It's recommended that participants wear comfy walking shoes, dress casually according to the weather, carry bottled water, and use insect repellent in the summer. Tours will be held in the event of rain if it's not dangerous or a downpour. Flashlights aren't necessary.

RESTROOMS: Tour attendees will have the opportunity to use the restroom in the Waiting Station building (pictured above) prior to the tour if they arrive in advance. (The building will be re-locked when the tour is scheduled to begin.) If needed, access to restrooms following tours is also available. Note that the restrooms located at the back of the Gothic Chapel (indoor restrooms attached to the back of the chapel) are open all day everyday for your convenience.

DOGS, STROLLERS, & WHEELCHAIRS: Little ones in strollers and very friendly dogs on leashes are welcome to attend. (You must curb your pooch.) Our tour routes include walking on paved roads and through the grass sections with many markers, monuments, and uneven terrain. Participants in wheelchairs and strollers generally do well on the roads but are not advised to venture into the sections where it would be difficult or impossible to navigate with small or narrow wheels. You can stay on the road and rejoin the tour when they return. It should also be noted that Crown Hill has many rolling hills and the overall terrain is not flat. In addition, going to the top of the Crown is very steep and it would be dangerous for a wheelchair. The tour group will go up the Crown and back down to the same spot. Tour participants in wheelchairs, or those unable to walk up the hill to the top of the Crown, are welcome to wait at the bottom. You are free to drive up to the top of the Crown at another time.

VISIT THE FOLLOWING PAGES FOR MORE INFORMATION: