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New Mount Sinai Cemetery

Wow, I just discovered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the St. Louis area, and also one of the oldest: New Mount Sinai Cemetery, located just beyond the city limits out Gravois, where there are of course many other burial grounds.

The heart of the cemetery is a cluster of mausolea of various architectural styles, ranging from Greek Revival to even some that show some Art-Deco leanings.

  

And then, in what is probably a first in St. Louis, there is a double mausoleum, with two families joined together in eternity with two front doors…

…while around back there are two circular/square windows lighting the interior.

In the center of the cemetery is this stout and well-maintained house or office with an impressive turret and glazed tile roof.

I suspect this building might have held coffins in the winter before burial, as was common before mechanical earth movers (yes, I’m aware that some people built fires over graves to thaw the earth), but I have firsthand reports from cemetery staff in St. Louis that you would wait until the spring.

The gates are probably much later from the early Twentieth Century, but fit in well with the earlier architecture.

4 Comments

  1. I would echo your “Wow,” Chris! Thanks!
    Now on my bucket list!
    I wonder, judging the massiveness of some of those mausolea – were they constructed before the graves in front of them were used? I would think it would take some impressive equipment to haul those stones, thereby mightily disturbing the ground.
    I’d imagine duplicating those today would be well over six figures; does ANYone do that today?

    • Everything is still done today, albeit at an extremely high price. Bellefontaine Cemetery just saw the construction of a handsome new mausoleum/monument up near the Wainwright and Lemp mausolea.

  2. hello chris, the first picture of the buildings is what was called a hospitality house. I read about this building years ago in the jewish light paper. before cars this would have been a long ride in a horse drawn carriage from the city. so the cemetery trustee’s raised funds through the jewish community to build this house. people would bring a picnic or hire a catered lunch for a large funeral.

    • Thank you, Dan! That makes a lot of sense. I love how some of the cemeteries built cool bus stop shelters, too, in the mid-20th Century.

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