Spanish Land Grant Park

Spanish Land Grant Park is a quiet and peaceful park.  Upon arriving, I noticed the trees with dedications below them, that had been planted to honor various members of the Florissant Rotary Club.  As I walked to the other end of the park, I saw a memorial dedicated to the people who lay buried in unmarked graves inside the park.  According to Find a Grave, the Cemetery was called Old Saint Ferdinand Cemetery and was used from 1790-1876 as a burial ground.  In 1876, the city requested that the bodies be moved but according to the website, many bodies still remain in unmarked graves.  Find a Grave lists the people originally buried in the park.  The Cemetery has both slaves and masters buried in the same cemetery.  The park is also listed in Secret St. Louis by David Baugher.  He discusses its history in a section titled Florissant’s Hidden Cemetery.  The land was granted by the Spanish king to a group of settlers.  The park itself was supposedly used as a training ground for Spanish troups before becoming a cemetery.  (Baugher, 62-63)   Florissant was the Spanish counterpart on the Missouri River to the French city of St. Louis on the Mississippi River.  The park has a pavilion with a table and garbage can.  It has parking that can be used for either it or Coldwater Commons Park which is across the street from the park.  Just beyond Coldwater Commons is the Old St. Ferdinand Shrine.  The Cathederal was built in 1820 (Baugher, 63) and the bodies that were moved are now in the New St. Ferdinand Cemetery.