A Confluence Attraction
Cemetery 8:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. daily
Office 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday
Closed Sundays, holy days and holidays
5239 West Florissant Avenue
St. Louis MO 63115
(By car) From downtown St. Louis, take I-70 West to the West Florissant exit (245B). Merge onto West Florissant and proceed 9/10-mile.
History and Features
Now covering 477 acres, Calvary Cemetery was established in 1857, in response to the massive death tolls resulting from cholera outbreaks during this period. Calvary contains the graves (many reinterred) of Catholic St. Louisans dating back to the founding of St. Louis, including those of Auguste Chouteau and Antoine Soulard. Like its neighbor, Bellefontaine Cemetery, Calvary was designed as a garden-like setting, with rolling hills and tree-covered lawns. It contains many architecturally significant tombs and memorials.
Notable citizens interred at Calvary include: Civic War generals William Tecumseh Sherman and John Wesley Turner; political figures Bryan Mullanphy and Alexander McNair; and author Kate Chopin and playwright Tennessee Williams. Dred Scott, the slave whose landmark suits for freedom contributed to the eventual Civil War, rests here. Madame Pelagie Aillotte Rutgers, a free woman of color and one of the early city’s wealthiest property owners, is buried near her husband Louis.
An important new monument was dedicated in 2003 to the memory of four Nez Perce warriors, two of whom died in St. Louis while visiting William Clark after his expedition through the Louisiana Territory. The warriors had been baptized during their stay in St. Louis, which was intended to gather information and contacts that would empower their people in a land now under the control of European culture.
For more information about Calvary Cemetery, visit
Calvary Cemetery Prairie Partnership
Calvary Cemetery contains three remnants of native tallgrass prairie – believed to be the only such prairie land within the Interstate 270 corridor. The 25-acre site rests at the northeastern corner near section 34 toward the back of Calvary Cemetery. The cemetery is between West Florissant Avenue and Broadway in North St. Louis.
The prairie remnants were discovered by conservation officials in the early 1990s. Since then, the area purposely has been left largely untouched compared with the parklike, manicured burial grounds surrounding it. Just last year, Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis made a 100-year commitment to help preserve the historic prairie. Catholic Cemeteries has joined with The Green Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri Department of Conservation and The Nature Conservancy to conserve and restore the site. The cooperative group is known as the Calvary Cemetery Prairie Partnership. The partnership has begun a multi-year restoration plan to rejoin the three prairie remnants. The area slowly is being cleared of invasive trees, shrubs, weeds and non-native plants.
To schedule a visit, volunteer to help manage the prairie or for more information, call Carissa Gigliotti at The Green Center, (314) 725-8314, ext. 101, or visit www.thegreencenter.org.