N E W S R E L E A S E
November 14, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager
218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)
Dedication ceremony to pay tribute to those buried at Greenwood Cemetery
Many have been dead for more than a century. Some, due to language barriers and faulty record keeping at the time are listed by only a partial name or their nationality. Their place of death is often recorded as “Poor Farm” or “Almshouse”. Their exact place of burial within the cemetery was mis-recorded.
Greenwood Cemetery and its ancillary cemeteries became the final resting place for approximately 5,000 St. Louis County residents who died between 1891 and 1947. These were pauper cemeteries at the time and were used for residents of the St. Louis County Poor Farm and Almshouse, as well as for other County residents who lacked the means for other burial options.
On Thursday, November 15, at 1:15 p.m., the St. Louis County Board will host a dedication ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery. Commissioners will be joined by spiritual leaders from multiple faiths, who will offer a blessing for those who are buried there. The public is invited to attend.
The dedication follows the passage of a Board resolution earlier this year declaring Greenwood Cemetery as “Inactive and Historical”. This means that no further grave markers can be placed there. This was determined to be necessary to prevent the accidental disturbance of anyone buried there, since two separate investigations conducted during the last decade found numerous instances of confusion over the number of burials and where particular individuals were buried, duplicate grave numbers, unmarked graves and other issues.
“We want to do the right thing for the people who are buried here,” said Commissioner Steve O’Neil who organized the dedication event. “Their passing likely attracted little attention, and so, by offering this blessing, we will pay tribute to them in recognition that their lives mattered and we have not forgotten them.”
The ministers who will offer a blessing at the event include Pastor Kathy Nelson of Peace Church, Rabbi David Steinberg of Temple Israel, Father Brian Schultz of the Catholic Diocese and Pastor Gabriel Green of the Church of Restoration of the Twin Ports.
St. Louis County has erected a permanent receptacle for flowers and memorials at the cemetery, which will serve as a monument for all who are buried there. Greenwood Cemetery is located on the Public Safety Campus, off of Rice Lake Road across from Barnes Road.
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Directions: Greenwood Cemetery is located on the Public Safety campus, off Rice Lake Road across from Barnes Road (look for sign for Aspenwood Condominiums.) The entrance is an unmarked dirt road, which ends at a locked gate. Next to it is a grassy area where people can park. (Overflow parking available on the shoulder of Rice Lake Road.) The monument/urn that will be dedicated is located in the center of the cemetery, about 700 feet beyond the locked gate.