If you’re like me out there and lived in St. Louis all your life you have the general list of things you’ve done as a native of this great city. Some of them might be riding to the top of the Arch in what I call “a capsule of death”, seeing at least one Cardinals game a year, hitting up Ted Drew’s for that fabulous custard, and playing in the fountain at Kiener Plaza. These are all great but our city has many more things to explore if you dig deep and go a little outside of your comfort zone. One of these “outside of the normal things to do list” I am speaking of would be to take a nice Saturday afternoon and explore Bellefontaine Cemetery.
Located just outside the city off W Florissant Ave, Bellefontaine has remained in existence since 1849 and serves as the resting place for some of Missouri’s most historic figures. Some of the notable people buried there include the likes of Adolphus Busch who of course if the founding father of Anheuser Busch, William Clack of Lewis and Clark, and William Tecumseh Sherman who was one of the most famous Generals that served in the Civil War. A couple historic family tombs that are my favorite to visit are the Lemp Family Tomb and the Wainwright Tomb. The Lemp Family Tomb is nestled towards the back of the cemetery and display’s a fantastic stained glass window of lilies in memory of Lillian Lemp. The Wainwright Tomb was designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright for Ellis Wainwright who was a famous land developer and was intricate in the construction of the Wainwright Building located in downtown St. Louis. The Wainwright Building was one of the first skyscrapers in the world and Frank Llyod Wright got his start as the apprentice architect on the construction of that building. Wright always had a great sense of gratitude for the opportunity Wainwright gave him, which is why he designed the tomb.
This is just a small piece of the vast history Bellefontaine has and before you head out there do yourself a favor and read up on it, with over 300 acres to explore you will need to be informed. Also defiantly grab a map from the visitor center before you start exploring. Check out the cemeteries official website for more history, hours of operation, and any upcoming events that are open to the public throughout the year. Some people think I’m weird for loving this cemetery so much but from a photography stand point, you could never take enough pictures to showcase the immense amount of unique qualities this place possesses.
Bellefontaine Cemetery Website: http://bellefontainecemetery.org/