Saving Lives: Stories From Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery
Sue Hunter Weir
Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 10:00am to 11:30am
Washburn Library, 5244 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419
Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery (formerly Layman’s) is the oldest existing cemetery in Minneapolis and the first in Minnesota to have been listed as an individual landmark in the National Register of Historic Sites. The cemetery’s first burial took place in 1853, five years before statehood. In addition to recognizing the significance of the cemetery’s built environment, its listing in the National Register acknowledges the contributions made by those who are buried there to the city and state’s history. It is the final resting place of abolitionists, military veterans from the War of 1812 to World War I, members of the city’s early African-American community, and several thousand immigrants. And there are children—some 10,000 of them. Volunteers have been collecting and preserving stories and photographs of these residents to ensure that they are not forgotten.
Sue Hunter Weir is Chair of Friends of the Cemetery, an organization dedicated to preserving and maintaining Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery. She has spent 20 years researching the cemetery and its 22,000 residents. Sue has written more than 160 “Tales from the Cemetery,” columns that have been published in the Alley newspaper, a paper serving the Phillips Community and surrounding neighborhoods. For nine years, she served on the City of Minneapolis’ Heritage Preservation Commission. Before she retired, Sue was Coordinator of Academic Advising for students majoring in the visual and performing arts at the University of Minnesota.