Saint Genevieve, Missouri

I visited this 150-year-old cemetery over a decade ago and got a harsh reality check recently when I went back.

Granted, it was 104° F, a far cry from the balmy spring weather of my first visit. But, that didn’t explain the lack of shadowy, Victorian pathos that I expected.  

I had kind of a Planet of the Apes moment – you know the Statue of Liberty scene? I KNEW I was in the wrong place until I found two graves.

A simple epitaph: John B. Valle, May 3, 1827, August 22, 1869.

Here’s some insight into my taphophelia. Over the decade, I’d elaboratly decorated my memories to make a more appropriate set for the tragic romance I’d invented for John Valle and his consort, Mary St. Gemme.

In Memorium of Mary M. St. Gemme consort of John B. Valle, born February 9 1832, died March 6, 1853, 21 years, 6 days.

The cemetery I “remembered” was crowded with statues and tipped stones all carved in French. Moss hung from the branches of ancient trees and brushed my shoulders as I wandered narrow, winding paths among the graves.

No kidding. That’s exactly what I expected.

Monument to Mary St. Gemme with the simple grave of John Valle at her feet.

Instead of  telling you the story these two graves inspired in my obviously overactive imagination, just look at the pictures and the dates yourself. If you come up with a tale too, then you and I are kindred spirits…or similarly obsessed at least.  Let me know.

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7 thoughts on “Saint Genevieve, Missouri

    • I love “consort” too. I wondered if it might just be a quaint old word for “spouse”, but the consorts at St. Genevieve hadn’t changed their last names, the wives had. Maybe reverence for one’s consort was a French custom. It seems appropriately romantic.

  1. I love the graveyard at St. Michael’s chruch in Charleston, SC. It’s just jam-packed with history and fascinating stories. I’m going to have to walk through again, the next time we’re there. It’s been too long and you’ve reminded me how much I enjoy the cemetery in downtown Charleston. 🙂

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