Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trip To Kansas City, MO March 2010

I am so excited! We have planned a trip to Kansas City, MO. So what is the first thing I do? Jump on the computer to find what cemeteries are close and which ones I want to visit. OF COURSE! Then my husband delievers the normal speech. "We are only going to a few cemeteries, so pick the ones you want to see the most." "But..." I begin to protest. Then he proceeds to remind me (while rolling his eyes) that he and Katie, my daughter, do not care about the cemeteries and they are only going because they love me and they know it makes me happy. So pouting like a three year old, I sulk off to continue my search for the cemeteries I want to visit.
Ugh! So many to choose from and so few I can choose. Why couldn't I have married a fellow taphopile?

Those who love the cemeteries like I do know how hard it is to just pick one or two from a long list of so many great ones. OK, I narrowed it down to Sheffield Cemetery and Mount Washington Cemetery. Sheffield being a Jewish one, I've never been to a Jewish one before. And Mount Washington being the largest one on the list.

Sheffield Cemetery

Sheffield is the second oldest Jewish cemetery in Kansas City, MO. Not to mention one of the largest one in the area. Founded in 1900 by former Tiphereth Israel Synagogue. It has roughly 5,500 gravesite, with all but about 300 are occupied. In 1920 the ownership switched to Beth Israel Abraham & Voliner Synagogue.

Upon entering, I felt as if I was stepping into a different country. The Hebrew inscriptions just jump right out at me, letting me know I was in a very special place. I am in shock at how many there are in such a small space. Being that this is my first Jewish cemetery I wasn't sure what to expect. And now I hope to have the chance to visit more. And oh how I wish I could read Hebrew.

I am used to rural cemeteries. Where there is vast amounts of open space between groupings of headstones which are always in varied shapes and sizes. This cemetery is very uniform with very few exceptions. But each stone has lots of character. And the stones are all placed very close to each other making navigating the cemetery somewhat of a challange. The site of all these stones so close together and so numerous made me want to try to fit it all into one photo so I could share the experience, but I was not successful at getting it all into one picture.

I would return to Kansas City just to wander around this cemetery again.

Mount Washington
(Located just outside of Kansas City in Independence, MO)
Mount Washington Cemetery, also known as Mount Washington Forever Cemetery, is roughly 287 acres with somewhere around 60,000 internments. And from the time I spent there it is growing fast. (Four funerals in the 1 hour I was there.)

Mt. Washington was established in 1900 and has several famous people and historical figures interned within it grounds. The shear size makes the place a bit overwhelming. So you might want to stop for a map at the front office.

The mausoleums are very impressive. Especially the William Rockhill Nelson Chapel. This is the largest masoleum I have ever seen.
I am not sure if it is still or ever was used as a chapel. But according to the sign in front of the building it states that there are four people interned in the building, which makes it a mausoleum. It's a very beautiful building. This photo does nothing for the stained glass windows or the architecture of this amazing place. Wish I could have seen the inside.

Thanks for reading my first blog. I hope to do more. I am new at this so bear with me and wish me luck.
Happy Gravin'!


  1. Welcome to GYR. How far are you from Kansas City? I am 3+ hours and we go often. Well, my husband does more than I do, but that's because I don't have much to keep me busy while he works and I don't like to go GY hoppin' alone in an area I'm not used to.


  2. My mom and me recently came across a cemetery in Independence, Mo that was full of mostly pioneer graves. The headstones were mostly rocks with no names. There was a foundation for 2 mausoleums, a mass grave for cholera victims, a few civil war and a few revolutionary war soldiers. W were in her old neighborhood and barely seen it, it sat on a fairly busy road but behind/on the side of an old worn down building. There was a white pickett fence that aught my moms eye since she had never seen it before but used to live right down the road.It's dotted with tiny plaques explaing what is what and a few makers that state who they THINK is buried there. Very cool spot, called Pitcher Cemetery.