In the early days this was the entrance to the cemetery since the original Main Street was one block west of present day Main Street. For this reason, as you will note, most of the inscriptions on the gravestones are facing west.
As a result of Henry Carpenter's wish for a proper burial ground in Downers Grove, Samuel Curtiss donated a part of his sheep pasture for a cemetery. He later was paid $15 for the land, collected from people who formed a cemetery association. Plots were sold for $5. Each plot contained five or six grave sites. Many plots were never sold.
The first interment in the cemetery was in 1856 and the cemetery continued as a burial ground for the community of Downers Grove until 1939.
This cemetery is the final resting place for many of the members of the Village's founding families, mothers and fathers, babies and children, Civil War soldiers, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a former slave. Both Henry Carpenter and Samuel Curtiss and their families are buried here.
Main Street Cemetery has the rare distinction of being one of very few cemeteries in the country remaining in a downtown business district.
Main Street Cemetery is maintained by the Village of Downers Grove with the stewardship of the Downers Grove Historical Society.