On my last visit I had noticed a large cemetery behind the church, but did not have time to look at it. On this visit I did. I was impressed with its size. The number of graves seems large relative to the size of Beaverville. Most of them have French names, as you would expect from this history of the town, which was established by French settlers in 1843.
There was a clear contrast between the older gravestones and the newer ones. You can see newer, simple grave markers above, and the older, taller markers below.
I thought this marker unusual enough to photograph. What I found most interesting, though, were more than 40 small markers in two rows at the front of the cemetery.
Below is a view with the back of the church visible. They were the graves of nuns who had staffed the Holy Family Academy for its many years.
Below is a close up one one. This woman died when she was only 36. I think the top name is here professed name, and the bottom name is her birth name.
Not in the cemetery, but near the main street of Beaverville is a marker for the school. It reads, "Holy Family Academy 1895-1969 Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary." The phrase after the date is the name of the religious order to which the nuns belonged.
Remnants of the sidewalks and foundations of the school, which was demolished in 1976-7, are still visible. A small gazebo is visible in the background.
I wonder if it was part of the school complex.
Maybe I could find out if I went to the 13th annual Founders' Day celebration at St. Mary's on September 13, 2009. It is a fund-raising event for the restoration of the church. In addition to a Mass in the church at 10, it includes:
9:00-9:45 coffee and rolls in the parish hallWe are approaching the centennial of laying of the cornerstone of the church. The cornerstone was laid August 29, 1909.
10:00 car show, craft fair, farmers' market & flea market
11:00 kiddie barrel rides
11:00-3:00 pork chop/chicken dinner $10
1:00 bean bag tournament and kiddie tractor pull
1:30 church tour
2:30 entertainment in the church featuring cast members of County Theatre Workshop's summer production of "Some Enchanted Evening" and St. Mary's Souls of Harmony
To get to Beaverville from Rensselaer, go west on SR 114. When it ends at U.S. 41, keep going straight, through Morocco, past Willow Slough, and across the Illinois state line. Just keep following the same road, even when it takes a turn to the north for a few hundred yards. Eventually it will end in Beaverville.