If you go, bring tissues.....
Bring a chainsaw.
Be prepared to find the graves of babies, War HEROES, ancestors, husbands, wives, matriarchs, elders, life hiSTORIES...... in a condition so heart-wrenching it will take AT LEAST 10 minutes to gather your emotions.
Bring your spirit. Listen to theirs.
They are asking for your help.... To turn their stones back to facing the world.
The story of Washington Park has been told over and over. Evidently there is even a discrepancy on the haunting on the grounds with one local St. Louisan reporting that twenty years ago, after years of neglecting the sacred land, the caretaker hung herself on the grounds with a suicide note stating she was being haunted. [This has been confirmed untrue.)
It seemed that back about Jan 1990, a body was to be buried in the cemetery. In late July the widow went to see if the headstone was in place . The headstone was not there. The body was not buried. The widow made formal complaints to the county and to the Missouri Attny General office. This was combined with about 75 other complaints. The owner of the cemetery, Ms. Virginia L. Younger became overwhelmed with complaints. On Aug 22, 1990 she was hit with the first on many civil suits. many of these were for "severe emotional distress".Then the grand jury looked into her cemetery. On Jan 6, 19991 the MO attny general announced that it would take state legal action. This must have been the final straw, because on or about Jan 29, 1991, Ms, Younger committed suicide in her home in Normandy MO. Not at the cemetery. She had shot her self thru the heart on her bed . The lawsuits and attune general investigation had worn her down. Also she had not paid any of her workers and they had filed union complaints against her. The news papers also stated that all of the utilities her home had been cut off. She was broke. She requested that her remains be cremated because she "did not want people looking down on me". Her death did not end the suits, they went against the estate.
Either way, maybe we are not telling the most important story -the current story - loud..... or often enough.
I don't know what is more eery about the cemetery. How apparently the cemetery is haunted by upset ancestors rolling in their graves having spent life savings on their expensive family plots, or how all the graves are facing the wrong East, in the direction of the desecration, as if in a form of ongoing injustice. They are "facing it". Still, facing "it". When so many others are unwilling to.
Here is Fox2 News coverage of the plight of the grounds,
featuring current owner Kevin Bailey:
Here is information on the Corporation that installed billboards in the cemetery.
Per the St. Louis City Recorder: The St. Louis County Circuit Court (21st Judicial Circuit) required the City to file a Report with the Court, the St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds, and the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds containing the name of each deceased person disinterred and location of reburial. The Washington Park Cemetery-North Reinterment Index provided on this website is from the 299 pageReport recorded with the St. Louis City Recorder on August 21, 2000. The Index includes information on the reinterment of 11,974 deceased persons, including 165 persons indexed under "Doe" - Baby Doe 5, Jane Doe 88, John Doe 76.
Per Find A Grave: The city of St. Louis has a PDF that has the names of those individuals who have been relocated to other cemeteries on their website, here’s the link.
In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Washington Park Cemetery in 2020, an effort has been started to fully restore the cemetery until the protective guidance of the descendants and the professional guidance of certified historic preservationists. Find out more here!
Also, the billboards have been removed! Read about it here!