The United Ancient Order of Druids

This secret society, founded in London in 1781, once had upwards of 35,000 members worldwide but seems to have gone extinct. They used faux druidic symbolism and names but had no historic or religious observance relationship to the ancient Celts. Favorite fact: their local organizations were called groves!

Their dedicated section in Forest Home was purchased by “Trustees of the Druids” in 1875 and features this very tall monument acting as a pedestal for a seated figure who appears very old. He is seated and cloaked and holding a harp the top of which is carved to depict a child’s head.

The pedestal is decorated with an eye in an inverted triangle, the orders initials, and the date 1888. It is encircled by two very low, crumbling stone walls. The inner wall is more formally carved and the outer carved to look like cut tree trunks adn include outlined pathways leading to the inner circle from the east and the west. Spiraling out like spokes from the outer wall are lines of stone or concrete, mostly sunk into the ground but likely there to denote separate plots. It is unclear if any the nearest graves are associated with the order though it seems likely that at least of few of them would be.

(Photos taken in 2016, 2017, and 2020; background information summarized from Graveyards of Chicago, by Matt Huck & Ursula Bielski, (c) 2013)

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