Tomb with open vault, St. Louis Cemetery #1

Tomb with open vault, St. Louis Cemetery #1 More
Tomb with open vault, St. Louis Cemetery #1 The marble slab seems to have come off in pieces on this one. Most of the tombs had this basic construction: two or more "shelves", one on top of the other. When someone died, the marble slab would be removed, and the bricks around one of the shelves would be broken out; the coffin would be slid into the opening. Once all the spaces were full, the next time someone died, the oldest one would be broken open, the remains of the casket removed, and the bones pushed to the back, where there was an opening that went all the way down to the bottom; then the new casket would be slid in there. That's how they buried so many people in one tomb. (The same thing is done today, but the bones are bagged and labeled now before being pushed to the back.)