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St. Stephen's Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky

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St. Stephen Cemetery is unusual in the Louisville of modern times. Unlike other active cemeteries, it is actually located in the fairly urban part of inner Louisville, rather than the suburban fringe of the town. This helps to date it and place it in the context of Louisville history.

Upset by the $6 burial charge put in place by the Portland Cemetery, a group of German Catholics decided to open their own burial ground. This particular graveyard created something of a schism in the catholic community, with the local parish and archdiocese both demanding deed to the property. Rather than face excommunication, the cemetery's founders instead turned the land over to a private society, defusing the situation and preserving local harmony.

The cemetery has been in the news in recent years for mismanagement. In 2017, the caretaker was fired and during an interview, the board president indicated the cemetery was, "a total mess and he couldn't believe people had put up for its condition for so long." At the time, record books were in horrible condition. The record books from 1851-1897 were missing.

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