While Mother and I were roaming around Jackson and Fruitland, we came upon a shiny white church off Hwy FF that had a cemetery behind it. I hate to disappoint some of you, but that orange orb isn’t a UFO or a spirit materialization: it’s just an internal reflection caused by shooting into the sun.
We had a busy day. Before getting to St. John’s, we visited
I couldn’t find much information on the church and its cemetery, so I’ll offer up this photo gallery and count on you to tell me more about it. I’m particularly curious about what kind of plant that is. (Wife Lila thinks it’s a Dogwood.)
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.
While we were on our ramble to find the Cape Girardeau Northern Railroad depot in Fruitland, and and being distracted by dandelions, we ended up on 541 east of Hwy 61 on a lane that took us up to the Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church. The door was locked, so I couldn’t go inside.
Church established in 1838
A sign in front of the well-preserved church proclaimed it was established in 1838.
Cemetery dates to 1839
A stone in the cemetery said it was established a year after the church
Visitor register in mailbox
I opened a mailbox marked “Visitors,” expecting to find a brochure or other information about the church. Instead, there was a notebook started in 1990 where visitors could leave messages.
Dialog with the dead
I leafed through a few pages of the molding and watermarked notebook and found that many of the writers had left what could best be described as dialogues with the dead. After awhile, I felt like I was intruding, listening to a private conversation at the next dinner table, and I put the book back.
Reader Keith Robinson tipped me off about Fruitland having a railroad depot dating back to the Louis Houck days, but it took me some time to get around to looking for it. After a couple of false starts, I ran across this building that had stonework that looked a lot like the depot and headquarters building on Independence Street near Lorimier School. It was located, appropriately enough, on Depot Road.
I knocked on the door to see if the resident knew the history of the building, but nobody answered.
Remnant of the Cape Girardeau Northern
I sent a copy of the picture to Keith to confirm that I was at the right place.
He replied, “Yes, that is the old Fruitland depot of the Cape Girardeau Northern. As far as I know the depot was built in either 1905 or 1906 when the Cape Girardeau & Chester (a predecessor Houck railroad) entered Fruitland on the way to St Genevieve. The CG&C failed and the CGN came into being in 1913. It suspended operations in 1919, with the track being removed through Jackson, Fruitland and north in 1920. Houck wanted the Frisco to buy the railroad in 1912 – 1913, but the Frisco went into receivership before that deal could be put together. Had that deal been consummated, the Frisco probably would have developed the line to have a way to avoid the river route during flood times. In that case, the towns along that line may have gotten a boost to develop further.”