History Lesson Through St. Cloud’s Oldest Cemetery
ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A group of people had the opportunity to learn about some of St. Cloud's most notable residents on Saturday during the first Sundown Cemetery Tour.
The sold-out event was organized by the Stearns History Museum and was held at North Star Cemetery, St. Cloud's oldest active cemetery.
Some of the graves in the cemetery date back to the 1850s.
Some of the stops on the tour included the gravesite of Jacob Brower, who is credited with founding the Itasca State Park, Alice Wheelock Whitney's resting place, John Wesley and Elizabeth Webster who were former slaves, Claude Lewis who started St. Cloud Hospital with the nuns (and he was also Sinclair Lewis' brother), the Becker family who the town of Becker is named after, and Cooper family where Cooper Avenue got its name.
Many of the families that started the granite industry in the area are also buried at the cemetery. As you can imagine, their granite monuments are some of the largest and most elaborate.
The tour guides noted that most of the stories they told were of the men who lived in the area, that's because women didn't have obituaries in the newspapers back in the 1800s, so the stories of the women who helped develop the area have been mostly forgotten.
The Stearns History Museum is planning to do a whole series of cemetery history tours at various places all around the county.