Friday, June 27, 2014

#112: Bellefontaine Cemetery

The only cemetery in St. Louis that has a cake is located in the northern part of the city. But it's not just a cemetery. It was the premiere cemetery of St. Louis, and today it is considered one of its most famous landmarks. More than 42,000 people are buried here, and some of them have special markings, including mausoleums, statues and architectural gems. In fact, some parts of the cemetery are registered on the National Register of Historic Places in the US.

In the early 19th century, city cemeteries as well as large ones were very uncommon. At that time, the deceased were buried in church graveyards, on family plantations, or in unmarked places. Cities began to prosper, and St. Louis was one of them. In 1849, Bellefontaine Cemetery was founded on, at that time, farmland. It followed the rural model of city graveyards, by having it far away from the downtown part of the city. Bellefontaine was intended to be non-denominational, as opposed to most religious graveyards.

This is the final resting place of several historical and well-known figures in Missouri and St. Louis. There's a lot, but I'll list a few:
  • Adolphus Busch - beer baron; founder of Anheuser Busch
  • William Clark - the 'Clark' of the Lewis & Clark team. Explored the Midwestern United States.
  • James Eads - the famed architect for, of course, the Eads Bridge. 
  • Susan Blow - known to be 'the mother of kindergarten'
  • Irma Rombauer - author of the famous The Joy of Cooking cookbook
Also, eleven Medal of Honor recepients are buried here - more than any Missouri cemetery!

Other notable cemeteries in St. Louis include:

Calvary Cemetery - a Roman Catholic cemetery also located on West Florissant Avenue; famous people buried here include Kate Chopin, Dred Scott, William Tecumseh Sherman and Tennessee Williams

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery - a military cemetery located south of the Jefferson Barracks area. Of the over 188,000 interments, all wars are represented here. Jack Buck and Johnnie Johnston are buried here, as well as those who died in notable battles.

The cake, which features small paintings of people buried here, in tribute:
Right side of the cake

Top of the cake

Left side of the cake

Bellefontaine Cemetery on (I like to use this website when researching deceased people. You may find this useful in checking out the history of the cemetery.)

Bellefontaine Cemetery on FB

Official website

4947 W. Florissant Ave., ST. LOUIS, MO, 63115
Cake artist: Lindsey Sciaroni

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