A Walking Tour of Woodland Cemetery


One Session: Tuesday, September 10 OR September 17 (Rain Date – September 24); 4:30-6:30 PM

Location: Woodland Cemetery

Meet at the gate at the southeast corner of the cemetery, MLK and Woodland.

Cost: $12

Class Limit: 25/Session


This event will require standing and walking on uneven ground. To participate, students must accept responsibility for their fitness.


Founded in 1848, Woodland Cemetery is Des Moines’ oldest cemetery; it is the site of more than 80,000 graves and is also a repository for much of our city’s history. At each of the 23 stops along the way, participants will learn about the lives of Des Moines’ early families through stories and visuals. They will also do some tombstone rubbings and go underground into the city receiving vault.


Instructor Archie Cook has taught history in Des Moines schools for 20 years. In 2013, he took the reins from Gerald Leblanc, who was for years the official Woodland Cemetery guide. He is a member of the following organizations: State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines Historical Society, Iowa Genealogical Society and Iowa Archaeological Society.



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