Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Missouri: Old Mines - St. Joachim Cemetery #2


St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri


At least I think this is St. Joachim's Cemetery #2. There appear to be three St. Joachim's Cemeteries in tiny Old Mines.

St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri


My mother and I took a mini road trip Old Mines over the weekend. My interest in this village was due to its Missouri French history and a tradition it had that is similar to the courir de Mardi Gras in South Louisiana. If you watch the Pat Mire documentary, Dance for a Chicken, at minute 6:38, you'll hear about La Guignolee, a tradition similar to the courir de Mardi Gras, albeit a different time of year (December 31 or January 1) and different song (La Guignole). You can listen to the song here:




Here is a half-hour video about Old Mines and the Missouri French. The video references the cemetery, mentioning the abundance of iron crosses. The designs on the cross ends are similar to those in Quebec, Nova Scotia, and of the Cajuns in South Louisiana. The designs go back to the time of the Crusades in Europe. 

St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri


St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri

My French people helped settle St. Louis (specifically Florissant) in the early 1700s. They came down from Cadillac in what is now Michigan, but back in the day, was in French territory.


St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri

The video also mentions a book, It's Good to Tell You: French Folktales from Missouri. You can download or open the book in its entirety here. Rosemary Hyde Thomas, affiliated with St. Louis Community College at Meramec, collected the stories from French-speaking Old Mines residents in the late 1970s.

St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri

The crypt above looks ominous to me. It's for a T.C. Murphy, who evidently died in a boat explosion. I tried to get a photo of the interior through the keyhole in that metal door. Doesn't it look like a crematorium? Shivers.

St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri


Here is a good page that identifies some of the markers in Cemetery #2.

St. Joachim Cemetery #2, Old Mines, Missouri

I bet this cemetery has been flooded a time or two.

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