Gated off by a rusty chain link fence, St. Joseph Cemetery No. 1 is one that most central city residents pass by on their morning commute.
It’s not green and lush like other cemeteries, or filled with grand histories and stories. Instead, it’s wedged in the heart of homes and families, bordering Washington Avenue.
Tours don’t pass through, and the dead seldom get visitors. The sidewalks are cracked and weeds stretch out toward the sun.
But don’t be fooled, there are stories to find deep inside. There are flowers to see and monuments to admire.
Marble, stone and brick line the plots and mausoleums and statues of angels. Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary line the roofs of the homes of the deceased.
There are tales of WWII veterans and policemen, either dying in the line of duty or years later among friends and families.
There are generations upon generations joined together in crypts.
St. Joseph Cemetery tells stories dating all the way back to 1854, and although the dead can’t admire a bouquet of lilies, roses or carnations, the graves are blooming with bundles of flowers on any given Spring afternoon.