September 26, 2018

The 2018 event is now sold out. Thank you for your support!

Mount Mora Cemetery’s Voices of the Past  Re-lives “Old Joe’s St. Joe – 175 Years Ago!”

By Sharon G. Kosek

Step through the beautifully ornate iron gates of Mount Mora Cemetery where you will be greeted by living history characters. Lanterns ablaze will light the way for visitors to stroll up Mausoleum Row, where 21 beautiful architectural mausoleum “homes” line the roadway. This year attendees will re-live the past by hearing the intriguing stories of a variety of early residents of St. Joseph founder, Joe Robidoux’s day.  “Voices of the Past” 2018 will inform and entertain visitors about Old Joe’s St. Joe –175 Years Ago!  

“Voices of the Past” will be held Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 6 and 7 p.m. and Friday, October 19, at 6, 7, and 8 p.m.  The program is researched by Historian Suzanne Lehr with characters respectfully depicted.

The tour will begin this year at the St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, 911 Frederick Avenue, and it will be there that guests will enjoy refreshments and meet Old Joe Robidoux himself and some of his compatriots. This welcoming new tourism location is just across the street of the impressive St. Joseph Pony Express Statue.

After hearing Old Joe and others speak, a short bus ride will bring guests to Mount Mora Cemetery’s gates to be greeted by Jane Ann Kemper and Sarah Landis.  Along Mausoleum Row, visitors can expect to meet an early doctor’s wife, a fur trader and famous interpreter, and a significant early businessman. All tales will center around the beginning of St. Joseph in 1843.  One fellow will entertain with tales that might just remind us of similar tales today! A special member of Old Joe’s family and a lady from far away with close connections will set the stage for Simeon Kemper’s grand finale.  Since 2002, this award-winning living history event has attracted local guests as well as those from across the country.

Several of St. Joseph’s earliest residents, even some who were here before Blacksnake Hills was incorporated as St. Joseph, will “come alive” and share their intriguing stories about their lives on the edge of our country’s civilization. Enjoy stories dating back to St. Joseph’s time as the “jumping off place” for Westward Expansion. Twenty-one of the finest architectural dwellings line Mausoleum Row; nine others are scattered about the Cemetery. Established in 1851, Mount Mora is one of the oldest cemeteries in St. Joseph. Governors, Pony Express riders, veterans, pioneers, an Ambassador, musicians, inventors, architects, writers, and an Englishmen make their home in Mount Mora Cemetery which I listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mount Mora Cemetery Preservation and Restoration Association invites you to purchase your advance tickets at the St. Joseph Museums, Inc., 3406 Frederick Avenue, St. Joseph, Missouri, or call 1.800.530.8866. For additional information, email sjm@stjosephmuseum.org.  Admission is only $22 per person to the general public. Space is limited; the events sells out early each year. Sorry, there are no refunds.  On-street parking will be available, as well as in Zion Church’s two parking lots south of the church and north of the CVB building as well as in the Mosaic parking garage at 8th and Felix Streets.

Voices of the Past is presented by Mount Mora Cemetery Preservation and Restoration Association in cooperation with St. Joseph Museums, Inc. and assistance from the St. Joseph Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. More details about Mount Mora Cemetery may be found at www.mountmoracemetery.org.

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