Columbia Cemetery

Also known as: Beth Olem Cemetery, Beth Shalom Cemetery, Elmwood Cemetery
30 East Broadway, Columbia, Missouri


Entry to Columbia Cemetery

Photo taken by iconions in May 2013



Street View 


From the National Register application:

"The Columbia Cemetery covers approximately 26 acres of land at 30 E. Broadway in Columbia, Boone County. It sits on a hilltop, with a grid of streets that divides the property into evenly spaced blocks. The well-kept grounds are dotted with mature plantings, and several of the streets are lined with large trees. The cemetery has its origins in a common burying ground established ca. 182 1, and it has been in continual use since that time. The end of the period of significance has been set at 1928, when a park entrance was created at Broadway, and the last major land purchase was made. The boundaries of the site include all land currently associated with the cemetery which was in use as of 1928. There are nine contributing and no non-contributing resources. There are four contributing sites, two contributing buildings, and three contributing structures. Contributing sites include the cemetery as a whole, plus three smaller cemeteries that have been incorporated into the larger site over the years. The smaller cemeteries include the original Columbia Burying Ground, (ca. 1821, Beth Olem Cemetery (1880), and Elmwood Cemetery (1914). The general site also includes a large section for African-Americans and a section for indigent burials. There are two contributing buildings; a vernacular stone receiving vault (1871, and a Romanesque Revival style mausoleum (1911). The contributing structures are: an iron boundary fence (ca. 1914), and two sets of limestone gateposts (1928). There are no non-contributing resources; the only post- 1928 construction on the cemetery grounds is a modest caretaker's complex that is located outside the boundaries of the historic site. The cemetery has seen over 10,000 burials since 1900 alone, a number which renders a detailed survey of grave markers (objects) impractical. It should be noted, however, that a good deal of the markers emit a high level of craftsmanship, and they contribute to the overall sense of time and place in the Columbia Cemetery. Post- 1928 monuments are in keeping with the overall character of the site, and do not detract from its historic integrity. The Columbia Cemetery is in excellent condition, and it exhibits a high level of integrity in all areas of consideration: location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association."

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 1, 2007
Reference number
Architectural styles
Victorian: Romanesque; Other architectural type; rural cemetery
Areas of significance
Art; Landscape Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1800-1824; 1825-1849; 1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2
Contributing structures: 3
Contributing sites: 4


19th Century (38,023)
Boone County, Missouri (73)
Built 1858 (362)
Built during 1850s (4,725)
Cemetery (1,146)
Columbia, Missouri (40)
Have Street View (48,212)
Horace F., Major (1)
Missouri (4,930)
Private owner (54,403)
Romanesque (2,724)
Stone (26,168)
Victorian (19,703)

Update Log 

  • May 17, 2017: Updated by Bill Eichelberger: Mapped landmark