When I first drove into Springdale Cemetery, founded in 1855, I thought it was just going to be a standard burial ground with rows of normal tombstones.
But that changed dramatically, as I soon hit narrow roads that dropped precipitously into deep hollows that stretch down into the river Illinois River valley.
In the first part of one valley, I found two mausolea sitting next to each other with rusticated stone exteriors.
And we see the first, of what I found truly fascinating, of what are obviously restored front door paintings.
The front doors are slabs are stone, and the paintings make them looks to be made of ornamental metal. Obviously, throughout history, sculpture and buildings have been painted, and we often get an inaccurate view today of what they originally looked like since the paint has faded, but I was intrigued by these restored compositions.
Moving further down the hollow, a creek splits a broader swath of land into two sections with a bridge allowing access to both sides.
Of most interest to me was the Bastow family plot, which featured a series of sculptures on plinths and a low stone wall.
After that, I took a road that ascended rapidly to the top of the bluffs.
There is a swath of land that the cemetery maintains as a savannah; monuments tower over the tall grass.
There is a double mausoleum like at New Mount Sinai Cemetery in St. Louis, though the design is a bit different.
Up on top of the bluffs, the cemetery takes on a more conventional appearance of the rural cemetery movement, with an emphasis on large trees and wide open spaces.
I loved this gigantic rusticated obelisk.
Update: Additional photos from a later visit.
I revisited the cemetery and found this mausoleum, part of a movement in cemeteries that became popular in the early Twentieth Century.