Friday, November 8, 2013

Amazing Grace


Bellefontaine Cemetery visit on November 8, 2013
87,000 souls are part of the legacy of this place in St. Louis and the mosaic it illustrates is a composition of American culture. Senators, Governors, Mayors, Steamboat Captains and Civil War Officers are among those who find their final resting place at Bellefontaine Cemetery, which was founded in 1849. It was the first rural cemetery back in the day. (It now enjoys an endowment of more than $90 Million. So it will be around for a while.)

Richard Lay, Vice President Customer Relations is happy to accommodate our group of docents from the Lauemeier Sculture Park with a guided tour that includes remarkable highlights. We visited the magnificent tomb of Adolphus Busch (which looks more like a cathedral than a burial plot). We visit the monument to General William Clark (of Lewis & Clark fame). The Wainwright Building downtown is an architectural treasure but Bellefontaine has a memorial to Wainwright that also has Louis Sullivan touches. Richard Lay assures us that the Lemp gravesite is not haunted. “Why would ghosts bother with this place? No-one to disturb, here,” he reasons.

Clearly, the story threats that weave their way through such a place are incredible and would indeed create a tapestry of our region and our nation.

Laumeier Docent Group at Lemp Tomb (l to r) : Front row, Jeanette Wamser, Tony Vonder Haar, Pamela Dern, Sari Frieden, Clara Coleman, Wes Morgan. Back row - Barb Flunker, Holly Goldfarb, Shelia Hoffmeister, Katy Mike Smaistrla, Maureen Jennings, Jahn Epstein, Ann Bauer, Marie Oberkirsch, Jennie Swanson

The Wainwright building was commissioned by Ellis Wainwright, a St. Louis brewer and completed in the early 1890s. Wainwright needed office space to manage the St Louis Brewers Association. It was the second major commission for a tall building won by the Adler & Sullivan.

William Clark with Meriwether Lewis, from 1803 to 1806 led expedition across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States. He later served as governor of the Missouri Territory.

Colonel Adolphus Busch was the German-born co-founder of Anheuser-Busch with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. He died in 1913.




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