Monday, June 2, 2008

Old St Marcus Cemetery

While researching Concordia Cemetery, I found mention of Old St Marcus Cemetery and the fact that "many, but not all, of the graves from Old St. Marcus were moved to New St. Marcus Cemetery." "Many?" What? This bears investigating.

Photobucket
We're getting fancy this week!

The first thing I want to point out about that satellite picture is that it shows Old St Marcus Cemetery as being rather large and kind of a backwards L shape. I assume that technically that is the original boundary of the cemetery. However, today you have to walk from Loughborough all the way to that path that starts right around Christy Drive before you see any signage or monuments.

Photobucket
So, it's a park... with bodies. I see.

There's a small sign at the bottom of the hill, and you follow that winding path up to to top of the hill where you see this larger sign closer to Gravois. As you walk up the path, you start to see various large scattered monuments.

Photobucket

This is all at once on of the eeriest, saddest, most moving sight I've ever seen. Apparently, the previous owner let the cemetery fall into a sad state of neglect, and due to innumerable access points, there was a lot of vandalism and grave robbing and no way for the property to be effectively patrolled.

Photobucket



Here's an interesting letter I found on Rootsweb about the situation. I don't know who that person is or how accurate the information is, so take with a grain of salt. In any case, it's very interesting.

Photobucket

So, one wonders, if there were no records of the grave placement, how did they move "many" of the bodies to New St Marcus? Like that letter writer said, there wasn't one stone within 25 feet of it's grave the first time he saw the cemetery in 1964.

Photobucket

According to one genealogical researcher, it was the graves in perpetual care that were moved to New St Marcus. The rest remain, relatively in their original location.

Photobucket
This is my favorite picture from the afternoon. It says, "RUH IM STILLEN FRIEDEN MILD GATTE VATER STETS UNS TEUER DANKBAR HEGEN WIR DEIN BILD BIS ZUR AUFERSTEHUNGS FEIER." I don't know if this is a sentence or a list of names or what. My German is spotty at best.

Photobucket

For you ghost hunters, I did find one online reference to "spectacular orbs" that can be seen in the cemetery from Gravois after dark. I would love to check the place out at night, but I respect that the compromise made between neighborhood residents, families, and the city was specifically to keep yahoos like me out of there at night.

Photobucket

At the top of the hill is a sort of memorial garden, the walls of which contain the small headstones that were salvaged. The rest of the pictures are wide shots of each wall, and then closeups of a few of the more interesting ones.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

17 comments:

  1. I live near here and was always curious about the history of the cemetary. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have a 2nd great grandmother buried there [or she was at one point, 1912] and I am assuming my 2nd great grandfather.

    Is this a Catholic Cemetery?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now it is a city park. Prior to 1977 it was owned by St Marcus UCC. So no, not Catholic now or ever. As if the Catholics would give up property. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you! I live out of state. So United Church of Christ. I had to smile at your comment - that's what I thought too but didn't say it :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a grandpa there somewhere buried in 1930
    sept 23 . I guess the politicans wanted a park more than a cemetery probably a shopping mall next.His name charles Fletcher Maybe some one can check if his stone still exist and let me know. Email wildwood83@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Check with Find A Grave (www.findagrave.com). I believe that all of the readable stones have been photographed by a couple of us and Find A Grave 'Memorials' built for all that we found. kkleen9@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, I'm the author of the letter on Rootsweb... Many of my ancestors are buried in St. Marcus Park (Old St. Marcus Cemetery). I have a heartbreaking letter from my Grandmother to the church that used to be responsible for the cemetery about how she couldn't get to her sister's or grandparents graves... enough to make you cry... Some of my family's stones are incorporated into the walls pictured above... Ken Weber

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have 4 relatives (all with last name of Booch) buried there between 1884 and 1933. I agree it is a sad place- in such disarray. The office at NEW St. Marcus Cemetery gave me a copy of the site map for the cemetery so I could approximate where the Booches were buried. But there are no markers in their area (Block 1, Lot 1915).

    ReplyDelete
  9. I only recently discovered that I have at least six relatives who were buried in the Old St. Marcus Cemetery during the years 1892 - 1921. They were all members of the Boat family of St. Louis. My mother's father was a St. Louis Boat. My mother's mother died in childbirth in 1922, and her sister took over care of the newborn, leaving the grieving husband/father to fend for himself. My mother lost all contact with her father. I have not yet found records of her dad, Robert Edward Boat, nor her 2 year old brother, Willard Boat, but I did trace records back to Cornelius and Catherine Boat, et al. I am saddened to finally find record of these long lost relatives, only to discover their final resting place was so seriously disrespected. I applaud the efforts of the City of St. Louis for stepping in, and resolving the issue. May those poor lost souls rest in peace.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am a 67 year old woman now living in Georgia. My Grandfather, Otto Reber, and Grandmother Martha Reber are buried there. I can remember going to the cemetery as a young child and seeing iron crosses throughout. I always thought it was really neat as a child. Then in the 60's (I think), I remember my father telling me about receiving a letter stating the caretakers could no longer take care of the cemetary and the graves needed to be moved at the expense of my father (I don't believe they had perpetual care). My father refused and I have always wondered what happened to their graves. I am planning a trip to St.Louis in June and would love to see the site or at least headstone. Can anyone there help me locate them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are only a few graves left, but I have a map and marked where the graves that are still there are and I lined them up with the tombstones and was able to find the area my relatives are buried (no tombstones) I left some flowers. Also, your grandparents tombstones may be in the wall. I can look for you if you'd like. Email me at CarolineGibson18@gmail.com

      Delete
  12. Found the following pdf. Hope it is helpful
    www.eden.edu/s/1645/images/editor.../guide_to_esna_cemeteries_in_st_louis.pdf
    duane.fly@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. http://www.eden.edu/s/1645/images/editor_documents/archives/guide_to_esna_cemeteries_in_st_louis.pdf

    Hmmm...maybe this one...

    ReplyDelete
  14. I found that my 2nd Great Uncle is buried in the Old St Marcus Cemetery. Of course there is no headstone so I doubt his grave was moved. I was wondering if there are any records of the people that were buried in this cemetery over the years. The article said the Cemetery was close in 1960. My 3nd Great Uncle died in 1943. He was single man and his nephew was vice pres of the funeral home, Southern Funeral Home, St Louis, Mo. His nephew also gave the info on the death cert. of what there was. 2nd Great Uncle..August R. Mueller and his nephew was Oscar August Mueller.
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have burial records and maps at New St. Marcus down the street.

      Delete
  15. I used to live on ruth drive and I experienced a lot of supernatural things, from piano playing to running upstairs when I was all alone. By far the most haunted area I've ever lived in. I remember being a child and living in constant fear.

    ReplyDelete