Sunday, December 18, 2005

Union-Made Ashes

If you take the time to talk to the caretaker of the old Missouri Crematory and Columbarium at 3411 Sublette Ave., he will give you a tour. It's not often that the living seek his company and he welcomes the opportunity to converse with someone other than himself. But he is quick to add that he likes the solitude. The dead, he says, can't cause you any harm.

The crematory, which opened in 1887, shut down a few years ago, but the columbarium still has some space available, if you're interested. Those who have chosen to be cremated over the years came from all walks of life. For example, in the basement of the columbarium, an imposing crypt-like edifice, there is a bronze plaque on the wall that honors members of Brewers Local 6, many of whose ashes are interred here.