Wauwatosa, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society announces the listing of the Wauwatosa Cemetery Chapel in Wauwatosa, Milwaukee County, on the State Register of Historic Places. State Historic Preservation Officer Daina Penkiunas presents a certificate to Maricolette Walsh, vice president of the Wauwatosa Cemetery Association.

The Wauwatosa Cemetery Chapel is significant as an early manifestation of the historic preservation movement in Wauwatosa and in Wisconsin. Built in 1852-1853 as the First Baptist Church, the building has been preserved and adaptively re-used twice. In 1905 it became an armory and meeting hall for the Wauwatosa Light Guard, a patriotic and social organization. In 1914 the former church was again re-used when it was moved to Wauwatosa Cemetery and converted to a funeral chapel.

The Wauwatosa Cemetery Chapel is also important for its funerary use, reflecting American burial customs popular in Wisconsin in the early twentieth century. The main floor served as a non-denominational chapel for services, while the lower level includes the original six casket storage vaults as well as office space for the cemetery’s caretaker. The building was used for funeral services until about 1951 and the Cemetery Association is now planning a restoration.

The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.

Additional information for the Wauwatosa Cemetery Chapel is available at


To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit: www.wisconsinhistory.org.

About the Wisconsin Historical Society
The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit wisconsinhistory.org.

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