Bellefontaine Cemetery, Late Summer

I find someone new every time I visit Bellefontaine Cemetery, and recently I found the grave of William Russell, who was an important figure in early St. Louis history. See his family’s estate here where they mined coal and clay.

While the limestone has been damaged by acid rain, you can still imagine how beautiful the sculpting would have been originally.

The are cherub heads around the pediment of the monument. I wonder if there was originally a sculpture or urn surmounting the monument.

After the Civil War, improved railroad connections opened up new quarries in the mountains to the south and west of St. Louis in Missouri, but also the rest of America.

The granite below has retained the crisp sculpting perfectly.

There are also many wonderful sculptures scattered around the cemetery.

I also stumbled across the grave of Joseph Uhrig, a brewer who is perhaps more famous for his entertainment complex at the southwest corner of Washington and Jefferson avenues.

There is a silly legend that there was a tunnel from his brewery in downtown to his lagering cellars, which are intact under what is now the former Jefferson Savings and Loan building. It is not true, and most logically because that when he operated his business, the land in between the two locations was rural. Why would there be a need to build a tunnel to transport beer underground through the country? Through a crowded Manhattan, yes, but not antebellum St. Louis.

I also ran across the Garth family plot, with its handsome grave monument.

The Wainwright Tomb was dappled in the early afternoon shade.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Allison Smith says:

    Is that the same William Russell who founded Little Rock?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      No, in this instance, our William Russell is the wealthy landowner that owned large portions of South St. Louis. Russell Boulevard is named after him since it passed through or near his holdings.

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