The Haunting Beauty of Missouri's Most Enchanting Cemetery

Tucked away in the heart of St. Joseph, is Missouri’s most enchanting Victorian Garden Cemetery. And it is hauntingly beautiful! 

As I meandered through the winding paths of Mt. Mora Cemetery, I couldn’t help but be struck by the haunting beauty it possessed.  Cemeteries like this are my favorite. Designed during the Victorian era, these garden cemeteries were more than just a final resting place for the deceased. They were meant to be a place of solace and contemplation for the living. 

Victorian Garden Cemeteries

In the 19th century, urbanization and industrialization led to overcrowded and unsanitary conditions in many cities. As a result, city planners began to look for ways to create more green spaces and parks. One solution was the creation of garden cemeteries.

These cemeteries were designed as peaceful oases within the bustling city. They were filled with ornate headstones and monuments, as well as lush greenery and winding paths. They often featured ponds, fountains, and even small chapels. But perhaps the most striking feature was the sense of tranquility and reverence that permeated the air. 

Victorian Garden Cemeteries, like Mt Mora, were meant to be a place of reflection and remembrance, where the living could come to pay their respects to the dead and find comfort in the beauty of the surroundings. Today, many of these Victorian garden cemeteries, such as this one in Savannah, GA, that I previously wrote about, still exist and continue to offer a sense of solace and beauty to those who visit them. 

Architectural Delight

The magnificent monuments and soaring mausoleums in Mt. Mora work together to tell a story. It’s a story of the townsfolk and their accomplishments, delights and societal contributions. Walking amongst them makes one feel as if the spirits of the departed are still present, watching over the living and whispering their tales.

This memorial is the first to catch my eye.

This memorial fascinates me because it is incredibly unique. I have not seen anything quite like it before.

The outer area of this memorial is constructed of white marble. The square green tiles on the floor surrounding the structure are some kind of granite, although I am not certain of the name. 

The intricacy of the carvings on the steeples is amazing. Soaring overhead, they appear to be a nod to the gothic revival style. This makes sense as one observes the home he had built. 

I didn’t get a good photo of the home, but was able to find a small bit about it here. Obviously it will come as no surprise that it has gargoyles in the windows!

Stunning Mausoleums

There are countless mausoleums on Mausoleum Row. These above ground burial structures are enchanting and mysterious.

One of the things I love most about mausoleums from this time period are the copper, gate-like doors. If you are lucky enough to find some that you can look through, you will typically discover stained glass windows.

Photos of Mausoleums I Discovered

These enchanting homes for the deceased are absolutely stunning. Each contains a varying number of crypts for family members. 


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