Posted: August 13, 2012 in Architecture, Beer Barons, Blatz, Cemeteries, Details, Doors, Milwaukee, Photography
Tags: , , , , , , ,

 A couple of weeks ago, we visited the Forest Home Cemetery on Milwaukee’s south side. The cemetery is located in the neighborhood called “Lincoln Village” and is a magnificent oasis of quiet and dignity in the middle of a high-energy part of the city. Honestly:  even the squirrels on-site were moving with a certain gravitas.

Of course, that made the woman carrying a camera and trying to scale the sides of large grave-markers really stand out.

Awkward moment, when even the squirrels view you with small squirrelly sneers. 

Originally, I’d intended to do a piece on all the Beer Barons of Milwaukee who are buried at Forest Home, but the Blatz Family crypt is such an incredible structure that I felt it deserved its own chapter. I’ll get to the rest of the crowd–Pabst, Schlitz and Jacob Best– in another post.

I went to the cemetery as a photographer, not as an historian, so if you are anxious for floor plans or an accounting of all those who slumber within the Blatz crypt…can’t help you there.  I can tell you that this is the final resting place of one Valentin Blatz (1826-1894), Bavarian immigrant and founder of the Blatz Brewery. 

Blatz Family Crypt

Welcome to Heaven!

My friend, Anne, has a mom who is in her 80’s and a lifetime fan of Blatz beer.  Anne says that she’s pretty sure that her mom’s vision of the Gates of Heaven might look a lot like the shot above.

Detail: Blatz crypt arch

I’ll admit it: my English-major self did a few riffs on Shelley’s “Ozymandias.”

Details, rear of Blatz crypt

Did I mention the whole beautiful thing? Color, line, angles,  textures–as a photographer, it was difficult to move myself past this one monument.

One final detail:  the serious chain and lock securing the gate at the entrance to the crypt.

Detail: Blatz crypt entrance

 Still to come: Pabst, Schlitz, Jacob Best, Krug and Uhlhein and the rest of the Beer Barons.

  1. David says:

    Amazing! Nicely captured. The textures and shapes are wonderful!

  2. jlheuer says:

    Can’t wait to see the others.

  3. Thank you to Jeanne for pointing out (discreetly) that I have been consistently spelling “cemetery” incorrectly. Let me just say that the English Major thing did not involve a spelling class at any point. In my defense, I will point out that I am able to perform the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English with great gusto.

    Upon reflection, I would say that being able to spell well is a greater asset in life than a fluency in Middle English.

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