Mound Cemetery - 1852
Mound Cemetery is a monument to both the Native Americans and the city's earliest  citizens.  Here you can find graves of pioneers, like noted naturalist Dr. Philo Romayne Hoy, mausoleums of industrialists, and markers honoring war veterans.  You will also find 14 graves that were purchased from the City of Racine by the federal government in 1868 for $40.25.  This area is called Soldier's Lot and is part of the National Cemetery Administration.  There are 14 interments in Soldiers Lot, including one unknown soldier.  The 13 other soldiers were members of Wisconsin military units who either died at local hospitals or at nearby Camp Utley.

On March 1, 1848, at one of the first meetings of the newly formed common council, of the city of Racine, it was determined that the community’s original cemetery located close to the lakefront was badly deteriorating due to lakeshore erosion, and that one of the first duties would be to select a new site for the city burial grounds.  Many citizens were concerned that the site for the proposed new cemetery would be too far from town. After nearly two and a half years of opposition, it looked like its advocates would prevail and the city would purchase the land now known as Mound Cemetery.   

Dr. Philo Hoy led the charge for the Mound Cemetery site, and his training as a naturalist only added to his appreciation for the over 150 species of trees and shrubs indigenous to the site, all of which he would later list and classify.  He also named the roads within Mound Cemetery.  Mound Cemetery was dedicated on June 3, 1852.  The first graves sold for $5.00 each and $7.00 for non-residents.

By 1921 Mound Cemetery consisted of 87 acres.  The first purchase of 16 acres was originally owned by Joseph Antoine Ouilomette, a person of mixed French and Indian ancestry, who arrived in Racine in 1834.  The sale to the city was with the agreement that the Native American burial mounds remain and be undisturbed.  Dr. Hoy was made chairman of the Cemetery Committee and immediately set out planting evergreens around the Indian mounds to protect and preserve them as promised.  In December 1864, 30 acres adjoining the cemetery on the east were bought at $100 per acre.  The deeds show that nine and a quarter acres were purchased from James Kinzie, and 20 3/4 acres from Martin J. Liscom.  On May 19, 1880, Dr. M. R. Teegarden deeded to the city 41 acres adjoining the cemetery further on the east, for $5,925.  Today Mound Cemetery is approximately 52 acres.

Mound Cemetery was listed as a State of Wisconsin Registered Landmark on February 23, 1974, and was designated a landmark by the City of Racine Landmarks Commission on May 12, 1976.

The presence of Mound Cemetery is a testament to the wisdom and foresight of early settlers and civic leaders who took advantage of Dr. Hoy’s expertise. The cemetery draws visitors from around the country, who wish to see its beauty and design.