I can't explain why, but cemeteries fascinate me.
Maybe it's because the ones in St. Louis seem to stand out so much. Most are pretty large pieces of real estate, surrounded by urban or suburban development -- but it's obvious they weren't always so confined.
Indeed, the St. Louis Genealogical Society web site explains that:
As the city expanded, it was necessary to establish regulations for
the cemeteries. On 12 February 1879, the city fathers passed ordinance number 10990, apparently still in effect today, to “regulate cemeteries and the interment of the dead within the limits of the city of St. Louis.”
The ordinance lists thirteen cemeteries: Bellefontaine, Old Picker’s or Holy Ghost, Rock Spring, Wesleyan, The Western, alias Western Evangelical Lutheran, Bremen-Saxon, Calvary, Holy Trinity, St. Paul’s Evangelical, St. Peter’s and Paul’s[sic], Episcopal, Public Cemetery at City Poorhouse, and St. Matthew’s and all other cemeteries established and now in use within the present city limits of not less than two acres in extant.
A search of the St. Louis City Revised Code turns up Chapter 11.62 Part IV. The following section was last amended by Ord. #57313 in 1977:
11.62.280 Legal cemeteries named.The following named cemeteries are recognized as legal and proper places of interment of persons who may die in the city or who may be brought to the city for burial: Bellefontaine, Calvary, First Evangelical, New Picker’s, St. Marcus (New), St. Matthews, St. Peter and St. Paul.
Obviously, a lot of things changed in the 98 years from 1879 (some of those cemeteries had just been added to the city three years before in 1876) to 1977.
Another cemetery, Independent Evangelical Protestant Cemetery, was established in 1862 at 7133 Gravois near Hampton, and eventually came to be called New Picker's Cemetery. To make it even more confusing, this cemetery later was renamed Old Picker's, because the original Old Picker's was closed, with the bodies disinterred about 1916 to make way for the construction of Roosevelt High School. And, New Picker's became the name for the newly-purchased section across Gravois, at 7212 Gravois, about that same time.
Today, both the "new" Picker's are called Gatewood Gardens Cemetery. They are owned by the City of St. Louis Land Reutilization Authority, because the last private owner (Solomon Rooks) failed to pay back taxes. For a few years they were known as St. Louis Memorial Gardens. But in the 1977 legislation, they're still New Picker's. Some sources say Old Picotte or New Picotte instead.
So today we have only a handful of cemeteries inside the city limits.