The spirits of Ste. Genevieve’s past will haunt Missouri’s oldest cemetery this weekend.
“It’s a way to learn a bit of history by talking to people who lived through it,” said Mickey Koetting of the Foundation for Restoration of Ste. Genevieve.
The Deja Vu Spirit Reunion, a family event sponsored by the foundation, will take place on Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. in Ste. Old Genevieve Memorial Cemetery, 35 North Fifth Street.
Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for students 6-18, and free for children 5 and under.
Tickets can be purchased online on the foundation’s website at https://www.historicstegen.org/copy-of-basic-1.
Community members are invited to listen to pioneer stories by lantern light in the state’s oldest cemetery, opened in 1787 and closed in 1882.
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“There are 300 stones left, but there are 3,000 to 5,000 people buried in there,” she said. “Thus, the inhabitants take on the personality of the people who are buried in the cemetery. And if we know where they are buried, they are standing right on their graves. Or if we don’t know exactly where they are buried, they simply pick a spot.
Koetting said there will be a variety of well-known spirits in Missouri history.
“We have Senator Louis Lynn, who was the model state senator from Missouri,” she said. “He was not the first senator, but he was one of the very first and was well known in the Senate for his honesty and exactly what a senator should be.”
Also included will be the victims of the 1852 explosion of the steamer Dr. Franklin No. 2 on the Mississippi River.
“The townspeople came out and caught them in the river – floating down the river – then they did a mass burial in the cemetery,” she added.
Other minds, she says, will include John Scott, who helped draft the Missouri Constitution; Odile Pratt Valle, who donated the land for the new cemetery; Philip St. James, who died during the Civil War and was the highest-ranking officer in the Union Army of Ste. Genevieve; the stonecutter, who carved many gravestones in the cemetery; as well as many of the early settlers of Ste. Genevieve district.
“Spirits take on their personality and are very good at being that person,” she explained. “They know a lot about how they lived and things like that. So if you want to ask a question, most of them will be able to answer it… So it’s a way of learning and living a bit of history.
The spirit meeting will coincide with the Ste. The Geneviève Rural Heritage Days, which will take place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the historic city center of Ste. Genevieve.
At 4 p.m. in the garden of Maison Guibourd-Valle, there will be a glimpse of the reunion spirit. Community members will be able to mingle with the spirits before they parade to the cemetery at 4:45 p.m.
According to the event page, the annual Rural Heritage Day is a day of history, reverie and reminiscence dedicated to hard-working ancestors and ancestors.
Various activities will take place in several locations downtown.
At Maison Beauvais-Amoureux, there will be an apple pressing demonstration and games for children.
Inside the Center de la vie colonial française, which is paying, there will be 18and bread recipes of the century and a sewing demonstration. Outside, in the LeMeilleur/Bolduc courtyards, there will be living history trades, including gunsmithing, woodworking and leatherworking, which will be free.
The Felix Vallé house will be open for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a Dennis Stroughmatt concert on the back porch from 1-3 p.m. A Civil War band will also be on the outside, as well as Ted Mueller with gunpowder. horn demonstrations and McPhail Custom Leatherworks. There will also be free scarecrow-building programs in the yard at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
At Maison Guibourd-Valle, there will be guided tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., as well as demonstrations of chair caning and lace tatting.
In the courtyard of Shaw House there will be spinning demonstrations by Deb Cambron and colonial food historian Suzanne Corbett.
The Ste. The Genevieve Visitor Center will hold bobbin lace demonstrations and the Ste. The Genevieve Museum Learning Center will feature an exhibit of vintage tractors.
In addition, library staff will hold story time at the Green Tree Tavern.
The German band will play live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Main and Merchant Street Pergola.
Several companies will also have activities.
At Sassafras Creek Originals there will be apple butter making and powder horn making demonstrations. And Pat’s Pastries will be doing quilting demonstrations.
Brix Urban Winery and Market will celebrate its first anniversary with mead question flights, door prizes, free goodies and more.
Nikki Overfelt-Chifalu is a journalist with the Daily Journal. She can be contacted at [email protected].