Walk with the Dead: Fargo's Riverside Cemetery

Join us in touring Fargo's first cemetery to learn about Fargo's past, how the interstate system influenced life along the border town and what existed before Lindenwood Park

Walk with the Dead: Fargo's Riverside Cemetery

Fargo, North Dakota 58105, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Tour Information

Join us in touring Fargo's first cemetery to learn about Fargo's past, how the interstate system influenced life along the border town and what existed before Lindenwood Park.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Established in 1879, Riverside Cemetery is Fargo’s oldest, and largest, cemetery with over 18,000 citizens of the dead. In 1880 Fargo’s sprawl only reached as far south as Roberts Street (now Seventh Avenue), putting the cemetery a mile... Read more
S. Marius Houkom was born Sveinung Marius Houkom on April 24, 1891 in Mekinock, North Dakota. Originally a farmer, he eventually earned a college education at North Dakota Agricultural College, now NDSU, and later the University of Michiga... Read more
One of the broadcasting pioneers in Fargo, and throughout the state of North Dakota, was John Boler. At the height of his career, Boler managed 100 radio stations throughout the region, many of which he owned. Boler also foresaw the rise o... Read more
Samuel Magill was born in Pennsylvania in 1832. Throughout his life he traveled many places including New York, Minnesota, Iowa, Fargo, and Chicago. In Chicago first, and then Iowa, Magill was a lumber dealer and builder. He also became a... Read more
Born in Michigan in 1852, Ada Jane Healy, along with her sister Emma, were orphaned when Ada was only 7. Ada’s mom had died in child birth and her father lost his footing moving from car to car and was killed under a train. Ada and Emma ... Read more
Was Andrew Ginakes a prohibition criminal? Andrew D. Ginakes came from Greece around 1915. His 1917 World War I draft card lists him as 21, single, not living with his parents, meduim height, medium build, working as a soda jerk and having ... Read more
Smith Stimmel was born in Ohio in 1842. After joining the military at age 20 during the Civil War he was appointed to the Union Light Guard and assigned to The White House. From December of 1863 until April 14, 1865, Stimmel was a bodyguar... Read more
William Frederick Lemke, US Congressman and Union Party Candidate for President in 1936 (FDR won) William Lemke led a rather fascinating life as a fringe politician. He was affiliated with North Dakota's Nonpartisan League, led by former So... Read more
As you approach this spot on the tour, you may wonder if you are in the right place as there is no tombstone for Birta Oldham. You may notice that there is what seems to be a lot of "open space" in this section, but section 31 is full. It ... Read more
E.D. Angell came to Fargo in August 1881 from New York. Born in 1855 to native New Yorkers who farmed in tiny Lapeer, Erasmus attended local primary schools, Cazenovia Seminary, and Syracuse University, graduating in 1880. He taught for a s... Read more
Robert Gibb Senior, shown on the right in the black and white photo, was a Scottish immigrant who established himself in Fargo, North Dakota. In 1915 he founded Robert Gibb & Sons, an industrial company focusing on plumbing, heating, ... Read more
This is the veteran section of Riverside Cemetery. Though veterans can be interred anywhere in the cemetery, ONLY veterans and their family can be laid here. You may recall the last name Oldham from a few stops ago when we met dear Birta. A... Read more
Born in February 1892 in Appleton, MN, Thompson was the first ND boy returned home for burial from World War I. Elmer was 25 when he was drafted in Minneapolis and sent to Camp Jackson, South Carolina, a new complex that was still being bui... Read more
Samuel Crabbe, born in Wisconsin to a merchant and his wife, came to Fargo in 1891. Sam had his civil engineering degree from University of Wisconsin and his first job in Fargo was to oversee the paving of Fargo’s first street. Broadway w... Read more
Burleigh Spalding was born on December 3, 1853 in Vermont. He made his way to Fargo where he both defended a convicted murderer as a lawyer and was a U.S. Congressman - at the same time. Raised in Vermont where he attended military school, ... Read more
You may recall the name Loius Hanna from point one on this tour. He owned land in Riverside Cemetery and was Treasurer of the Cemetery Association. Hanna, originally from Pennsylvania, was also a successful businessman and a man of politic... Read more
As I author this entry, I’m sitting at home on 25th Ave S on a lovely October 2016 evening with the windows open listening to the traffic on I-94 only a few blocks north of me. In 1958, when this section was being constructed, the city h... Read more
Fargo's second oldest park, following Island Park, is Lindenwood. This area was purchased in two parts by City of Fargo from William and Alice Resser to be used as a park showcasing the lovely mature trees along the Red River. The first pur... Read more
One of Lindenwood Park’s earliest features was the camping area. Later, during Roosevelt’s New Deal era, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers added shelters, walking paths, and modern toilet facilities with potable water. The CCC ... Read more
The Fargo-Moorhead Sertoma Chapter began its holiday lights tour in 1998 here in Lindenwood Park. Several other Sertoma Clubs in the area have similar light shows during the holiday season. Many groups enjoy the Sertoma Lights, normally vi... Read more
The photo here, from 2009, shows how Sertoma Freedom Bridge used to be effected by flooding of the Red River. While the bridge could be hoisted into the air and placed on stanchions (photo two) to avoid annual flooding, a crane was needed t... Read more
The area just ahead is now Ponte's Park but it used to belong to Charles Webb Darling. Born in East Virgil, New York in 1844, Darling would make his way to the west coast in his lifetime. Darling must have been quite the go-getter! After... Read more


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