Blog · News Release

Slave Dwelling Project Conference

The story of Sage Chapel Cemetery will be presented at the National Slave Dwelling Project Conference this Thursday, October 25th, 2018 by historian and author Dorris Keeven-Franke. For more information about the Conference see The Slave Dwelling Project at on the web.

As Joseph McGill states, its the people who lived in these dwellings, and who are buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery that need to be acknowledged and know that the world knows “I’se was here”. Sage Chapel Cemetery has at least 117 burials, of which ONLY 37 are acknowledged with a headstone, and we know that many were born enslaved. As long as someone remembers, these people are not to be forgotten.


News Release

Support the Nomination

Sage Chapel Cemetery is being Nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. A hearing by the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Agenda Here) to consider referral to the U.S. National Park Service will take place in the Lewis and Clark State Office Building, La Charrette Conference Room, 1101 Riverside Dr., Jefferson City, Missouri on August 10, 2018 at 10 a.m.. A Copy of the Nomination can be found here and this is a public meeting open to comment.  This nomination is being made in behalf of all of those buried at Sage Chapel Cemetery and support is greatly appreciated.



News Release

National Register of Historic Places

Historic Sage Chapel Cemetery lies west of the V.F.W. Post 5077 on Veterans Memorial Parkway in O’Fallon, Missouri and was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places by Dorris Keeven-Franke, Justin Watkins, and Amber Cox. This early cemetery, comprised of 117 documented burials many of whom were former slaves was officially established by Trustees of an African-Methodist Episcopal Church in 1881. At that time Jefferson Franklin Sage was a Minister of the Gospel with the St. Charles A.M.E Conference. Today, only 37 burials still have headstones to document this cemetery and there are at least 80 additional burials, documented by research found in Death Certificates, newspapers and genealogical research.  On August 10, 2018, the nomination was heard at the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation meeting and given unanimous approval.

Keeven-Franke is Executive Director of the Missouri Germans Consortium, is an award winning author, preservationist, and public historian. Cox was a National Register and Architectural Survey Missouri’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Watkins served on the Board of the St. Charles County Historical Society and is head of the society’s Cemetery Committee.

The process of nominating the cemetery began in 2017, when an Eligibility Assessment was presented to the SHPO.  The next step for Sage Chapel Cemetery began in December of 2017 with preparation of the actual nomination. According to the SHPO website “The National Register of Historic Places includes districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture. These resources contribute to an understanding of the historical and cultural foundations of the nation. Missouri, where the program is administered by the Department of Natural Resources’ State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), boasts more than 2,000 listings (= more than 35,000 individual resources) in the National Register, all  nominations are reviewed at the state level by the SHPO staff and the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The Missouri Advisory Council is a body of preservation professionals and laypersons appointed by the Governor to review National Register nominations and provide input on preservation issues.”

The nomination was heard and approved by the Missouri Advisory Council on August 10, 2018 and went forward to the National Park Service (NPS). It was placed on the Register on November 13, 2018.

To read the listing click here national register listing sage chapel cemetery