Tower of Memories a Bird House

Tower of Memories - Memorial Park 06-27-2013When Friend Anne was in town, Buddy Bill invited us to lunch. His ulterior purpose was to determine if Anne was real or a figment of my imagination. Anne accepted the invitation because she wanted to find out the same thing about Bill.

After a nice lunch with Bill, his Wife Sharon and some other friends, Bill invited himself along for a tour of Cape. Along the way, Anne got thirsty and we ended up at Sonic, where they each ordered limeades. These were NOT the limeades we used to get at Pfister’s. Let’s just leave it at that.

Anne hears something inside the tower

I’ve always like the Tower of Memories at Memorial Garden, so we made a swing by there. (I covered the history of the tower and gardens in 2010.)

While we were walking around the landmark structure, Anne said, “There are noises coming from inside – and the door is screwed shut from the outside.” Anne isn’t the kind of person who spooks easily: she’s a Texan, after all, a fact she references frequently.

Bill and I crept closer and discovered that Anne was right. We COULD hear strange scratching and beating noises and something else coming from inside the sealed building.

I just have to outrun Bill

Tower of Memories - Memorial Park 06-27-2013

I took a close look at my two friends and calculated that I didn’t have to be faster than Anne; I just had to be faster than Bill if something came busting out like in a bad horror flick.

Anne, using her well-honed Texas tracking skills, figured out what was happening. She spotted some broken windows on the side of the tower that allowed birds to fly in and out. Based on the amount of bird – let’s say guano – on the window sill, it looks like they’ve been doing it for quite some time.

I waited to capture a photo of one of the winged invaders, but Bill’s choice of shirts kept the poor creatures cowering inside.

Images for Easter

Bald Knob Cross near Alto Pass, Ill. taken in the late 1960sSeeing all of the religious pictures on Facebook this week go me to thinking of how many photos of crosses I have taken in the area over the years. Here are just a few, with links to the original stories. You may click on any photo to make it larger.  This is an aerial of the Bald Knob Cross taken not long after it was built.

Egypt Mills Trinity Lutheran Church

Trinity Lutheran Church in Egypt Mills 04-20-2011Egypt Mills Trinity Lutheran Church steeple.

Joseph Putz Grave

Joseph Putz grave St Johns Lutheran Church Pocahontas 04-19-2011Joseph Putz’s metal grave marker in the St. John’s Lutheran Church cemetery in Pocahontas.

High Hill Church

High Hill Church and Cemetery on CR 535 north of Neely's Landing 10-30-2011This simple church sits high on a ridge north of Neely’s Landing.

“Judas got a raw deal”

Kenneth Saunders of the Church of Judas walks through Cape 07-16-1965Kenneth Saunders walked more than 4,000 miles to deliver the message that “Judas got a raw deal.”

Trinity Lutheran Church at dusk

Trinity Lutheran Church steeple at sunset 11-16-2011I was walking back to my car after shooting another photo when I spotted Trinity Lutheran Church at dusk.

Cape LaCroix Creek marker

Cape La Croix Creek Cross 04-21-2011This concrete cross has a plaque: “In 1699, Fathers Montigny, Davion and St. Cosme, French missionaries, erected a cross where this stream entered the Mississippi and prayed that this might be the beginning of Christianity among the Indians. The stream has ever since been known as Cape La Croix Creek.” The cross, which had been at the intersection of Kingshighway and Kingsway from 1947 to 2009, when it was moved so a commercial building could be built on the site. Ironically, the marker has never been located close to where the Mississippi River and Cape LaCroix Creek intersect.

Dutchtown cemetery

Cemetery on top hill in Dutchtown 10-27-2011This cross is in a tiny cemetery located on a high ridge overlooking the ever-diminishing Dutchtown.

Nelsonville cross on a hill

Nelsonville 02-24-2013I spotted this cross in Nelsonville, Ohio, on my recent trip back to Ohio University.

Modern-art cross

Old Notre Dame High School 11-25-2011At first glance, I thought the front of the old Notre Dame High School had been covered with graffiti.

Tower of Memories

Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery Tower of Memories 11-05-2010Newspaper accounts said the 57-foot tall, 16′ x 16′ Tower of Memories at the Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery would have three stories: the bottom floor would contain an office and the second and third floors would house the Celesta-Vox, touted as “The Voice from the Heavens.”

St. Vincent’s at sunset

St. Vincent's Church at sunset 07-03-2012I was hoping to shoot the full moon and fireworks when St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church caught my eye.

St. Eisleben Lutheran Church

Eisleben Lutheran Church Scott City 10-16-2011The St. Eisleben Lutheran Church in Scott City has one of the most unusual steeples I’ve seen.

Altenburg Trinity Lutheran Church

Trinity Lutheran Church Altenburg MoAn “inland hurricane” took the steeple off the Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, but you could never tell it today when you look at the 1867 structure..

 

Tower of Memories

The Tower of Memories in Cape County’s Memorial Park Cemetery was dedicated in 1934. I ran across a clipping about the 57-foot monument while looking for something else and was surprised that it was so old.

A Kansas City man, Hugo Felix, bought 30 acres of land that had once been part of the County Farm for $3,000 in 1932.

County Farm Home

There’s a curious monument “IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED IN OUR COUNTY FARM HOME” across the street in Cape County’s North Park.

I know it was common in some areas to have “poor farm” where the indigent, particularly the elderly, would go when they were down on their luck before Social Security and other entitlement programs provided a safety net.

I did a story in Athens, Ohio, in the 60s about that county’s “poor farm.”

I’m not sure if Cape Girardeau county had something similar at this location. It’s something I’m going to have to research.

1933 Tower of Memories rendering

Newspaper accounts say the 57-foot tall, 16′ x 16′ structure would have three stories: the bottom floor would contain an office and the second and third floors would house the Celesta-Vox, touted as “The Voice from the Heavens.”  The amplified chimes and “vibraharp” supposedly could be heard a mile away. I don’t know that I ever heard it or if it’s still in use. The tower was built of native limestone.

Ford and Sons buy cemetery from Strom Family

Raymond Strom bought the cemetery in 1951, and it was run by the Strom family until Walter Joe Ford and his wife, Iris, bought it in 1958. At that time, Ford said there was enough room in the cemetery to handle the needs of the community for the next 50 years.

That’s probably been extended since the cemetery has added mausoleums and memorial plots for “residents” who have been cremated.  That will allow for greater population density.

I don’t know what plots are going for now, but there was a notice in The Missourian in February, 1934, that the prices for six-space burial lots in Section 1 (Lutheran), Section 2 (Masonic) and Section 7 (non-sectarian) were increasing from $125 to $150. Section 6 (non-sectarian) was going to jump from $175 to 200.

Peacocks were exotic attraction

No visit to the cemetery would have been complete without stopping to see the peacocks when you were a kid. If you were lucky, you might go home with one of the bright-colored feathers. I used some for fishing flies in my pre-teen years.

I wish I had a better peacock photo, but the sun (and the temperature) were going down fast and there was a brisk, chill wind blowing. My interest in peacocks diminishes in direct proportion to how cold I am.

Some purist will probably point out that the picture is actually of a peahen and a peacock, but I didn’t ask for them for gender identification in my rush to get back into the warm car. If THEY know the difference, that’s all that counts.

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.