Now whenever I’m out of town, I always make it a point to visit a cemetery. To me, they are better than any mountain range, skyline or other popular tourist attraction. They are hidden treasures containing a wealth of information about communities and the people who lived there.
Chances are you have visited a cemetery at some time in your life to pay your respects to a family member or friend, and perhaps you too appreciate the stories represented among the tombstones and monuments.
My travels take me to all over the South and Midwest, sometimes further North, and sometimes around the world! So I have decided to start documenting my cemetery visits with a series of photos in a Sunday feature.
What many people might not know is St. Peter was to have been the state capital of Minnesota. That’s why the founding fathers set aside land (where Minnesota Square Park is now located) for the capital building and designed the extra wide streets in town to accommodate future growth.
But thanks to a conniving politician named Joe Rolette, legislation was passed making Saint Paul the capital.
How did Rolette succeed in causing this happen? He stole the bill that was to have been voted on and disappeared until after the vote.
Greenhill is one of 13 cemeteries in St. Peter and has over 2,500 internments.
As I walked around Greenhill, what stuck out most besides the grave with the elephant (no joke!) was the number of families of Scandinavian descent. Names like Oelrich, Reipke, Annexstad, Roemhildt, Vandinburg, Rinkel and Lutterman.
St. Peter is such a charming little town (pop. 11,439) with lots of historic buildings, antiques shops and is home to Gustavus Adolphus College. If you ever visit, I highly recommend Konsbruck Hotel, River Rock Coffee and the St. Peter Food Co-op & Deli.
According to the city’s official website, it has served as home to the state’s past five governors. And every 4th of July, more than 10,000 people visit to take part in the Old Fashioned Independence Day celebration. I look forward to attending the next picnic in 2016!
Until next time….