Bellefontaine Cemetery

Saint Louis, Missouri

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The fourteen miles of winding paths, manmade lakes, and the landscaping of the eventual 310 acres were developed over time by Almerin Hotchkiss, who left his job with a cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, to become superintendent of Bellefontaine. Hotchkiss nurtured these lush, peaceful grounds for forty-six years. His son Frank assumed the job for the next twenty. Mike Tiemann, the current superintendent, notes that Bellefontaine is an excellent example of a cemetery that grew out of the garden-as-cemetery movement. In the 1830s, New England’s bleak graveyards gave way to beautifully landscaped parks, the precursors to this country’s many city parks. So, before St. Louisans ambled through Forest Park on Sunday afternoons, they strolled in Bellefontaine and neighboring Calvary Cemetery. Back in the late 1800s, those who walked by these imposing mausoleums, towering obelisks, and life-size statues of angels and mortals saw the names of people they knew, people who had helped to build the city and tame the West. Today this marble and granite metropolis silently utters the history of a young country and of one of its oldest cities. Special attractions: Ornate monuments and mausoleums, park setting and lush landscaping, historic gravesites of city’s most notable people.
Walking St. Louis

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Walking St. Louis

by Judith C. Galas & Cindy West (Falcon Guides)

The fourteen miles of winding paths, manmade lakes, and the landscaping of the eventual 310 acres were developed over time by Almerin Hotchkiss, who left his job with a cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, to become superintendent of Bellefontaine. Hotchkiss nurtured these lush, peaceful grounds for forty-six years. His son Frank assumed the job for the next twenty. Mike Tiemann, the current superintendent, notes that Bellefontaine is an excellent example of a cemetery that grew out of the garden-as-cemetery movement.

In the 1830s, New England’s bleak graveyards gave way to beautifully landscaped parks, the precursors to this country’s many city parks. So, before St. Louisans ambled through Forest Park on Sunday afternoons, they strolled in Bellefontaine and neighboring Calvary Cemetery. Back in the late 1800s, those who walked by these imposing mausoleums, towering obelisks, and life-size statues of angels and mortals saw the names of people they knew, people who had helped to build the city and tame the West. Today this marble and granite metropolis silently utters the history of a young country and of one of its oldest cities. Special attractions: Ornate monuments and mausoleums, park setting and lush landscaping, historic gravesites of city’s most notable people.

©  Judith C. Galas & Cindy West/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Saint Louis
Distance: 3.5
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Local Contacts: St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission
Driving Directions: Directions to Bellefontaine Cemetery

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Apr 2018