About Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens
Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens was founded in Saint Louis, Missouri during the early 1920s. The cemetery currently covers approximately 70 acres and actively serves the needs of the surrounding community.
At the turn of the century, this property was owned by Joseph Maxwell and known as Maxwellton Park. In 1911, the property was sold to a group of civic leaders who planned to develop the area into a local club. The original home was converted into a clubhouse, and later, a concrete grandstand was built around a one-mile racetrack – with a lake at its center.
During the 1920s, a local physician purchased the property to develop a lawn park cemetery with featured gardens. The east half of the property was the first to be developed.
A large stone entrance with massive iron gates was erected at Saint Charles Rock Road, leading downhill to a small lake. Today, this entrance is only available to foot traffic. During the depression, a landscape artist designed several terraced gardens above the lake. These plans included an arched footbridge framed by magnolia trees, which provide access to both sides of the lake. The first sections to be developed were named for their focal points. For example, a garden featuring Christ kneeling in prayer is named "Gethsemane."
A firm specializing in cemetery design was also commissioned to aid in planning the new cemetery. With their help, the original racetrack and its large lake were incorporated into the overall plans. In 1925, however, the construction of Pennsylvania Avenue divided the property and resulted in the large lake on the west side being filled. The last remnant of the old racetrack, a huge concrete grandstand, was removed in 1958 and eventually, that portion of the property was sold and developed for other uses.
Our Garden Today
Today, a small triangular section located at the highest point of the cemetery overlooks Pennsylvania Avenue and the Garden of Resurrection. This tranquil scene features a tall granite obelisk, which marks the final resting place of the founder of Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens and several members of his family. Directly below this area, a grotto is fixed into the side of the hill to depict Christ's resurrection on Easter morning. Life-sized statues of Roman soldiers stare in amazement at the open tomb while an angel nearby proclaims the good news.
The main entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue serves as a silent memorial to our local veterans. Individual plaques line the lawn in front of the flag commemorating more than 200 soldiers. Each year, these plaques are decorated with small flags on Memorial Day to honor all veterans buried at our cemetery. Laurel Hill is also a proud supporter of H.E.R.O.E.S. Care, a partnership designed to aid families in the communities where they live.
Some newer developments include a second mausoleum located near the Pennsylvania entrance and a columbarium wall with niches for cremation committals. Granite benches are located nearby to offer a quite spot for reflection in our Meditation Garden.
We assist families who have lost loved ones, as well as individuals interested in planning future arrangements. Our services are designed to meet a wide variety of needs. We offer tents and chairs for graveside services, cremation interments, granite mausoleums and a columbarium wall with individual niches for cremation committals. A dove release program is also available. In addition, we have a wide range of bronze and granite memorials, ranging from the traditional and simple to customized and ornate. Please call us to discuss your specific needs.
Monday to Friday 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Closed on Sundays and Major Holidays
The cemetery is open to visitors from dawn to dusk.
The cemetery is located at the intersection of St. Charles Rock Road and Pennsylvania Avenue with the office and main entrance on Pennsylvania, across the street from a local fire station.