Our Trek West (Installment 3)

It was a long drive (335 miles) down US-35 from Miles City Iowa to Kansas City Missouri. Normally we don’t push it this hard (we are retired after all) so we usually take our time.

We were on a schedule to get to Spearfish (South Dakota) before the Labor Day holiday weekend to make sure we could get a spot in the city campground and spend a few days with our friends Matt and Sherry before they were to leave Spearfish for points south.

But we wanted to stop and visit our friends Ron and Judy who live at Lee’s Summit (a Kansas City suburb) They had put us on to a great little city park just a few miles from their home. Once we were in the park and settled, Ron came and picked us up at the campground and took us back to their home where Judy had prepared a wonderful dinner for us.

Our nice shaded site at the Lee’s Summit City Campground

We had first met Ron and Judy when we all worked as volunteers at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in fall of 2019. We met up with them again when we were all at “The Big Tent” RV Show in Quartzsite Arizona in January of 2020. It was great to hook up with them again.

Our friends Ron and Judy

Kathy and I had also planned to meet up and visit with Carl who we had met in February of 2020 when we traveled with about 50 other members of our Escapees RV Club down into Mexico. While in Mexico, Carl had told us about his family’s mausoleum in Holden Missouri (near Kansas City). I was intrigued and wanted to see it if we were ever in that part of the country. Now was my chance!

We had told Ron and Judy about this over dinner and invited them to come with us the next day. They jumped at the chance as well. After all, how often do you get an invite to tour a mausoleum?

The next day the four of us jumped in their car and headed to Holden Missouri, about 30 minutes from the campground.

Carl was expecting us and gave us the “Grand Tour”. His Great-Grandfather built the mauseleum in the early 1800’s for his family, both those who had pre-deceased the construction and those that were to come in the future.

Carl aquuired the mauseleum from the family trust. He didn’t set out to own it, he was doing some family genealogy work and as a result of his research, he came across the mauseleum as part of the family history.

The more he looked at it and saw what a state of disrepair it was in, the more he was drawn to do something about it.

The roof has been replaced to stop any further water damage. Electric has been installed as well as a security system. Carl has opened the building and the surrounding grounds to the community for public events like craft fairs, scout campouts, church picnics and such.

There were 23 occupied crypts when Carl took possession and he has taken all the legal and ethical steps necessary to move the occupants to other locations. All the remaining caskets are now empty.

In looking at the pictures below (click on any thumbnail to open a larger view) you’ll notice that the entire structure is made of concrete. The walls, floors, stairways, and ceilings are all concrete. The crypts are also concrete with ornamental marble fronts that have the deceased name and dates engraved.

Now it was time to continue our trek west. We said our goodbyes to Carl and Ron and Judy and headed back to the campground for the night before starting our travels to Spearfish South Dakota the next day.

More to come in Installment #4 in the next few days.