St. Deroin 9/12/2020
St. Deroin was a small Nebraska town lying on the banks of the Missouri. At it's prime, from 1860 to 1870, the town reached its largest population, with 20 businesses, including 2 doctors, and nearly 200 occupants. Sadly, since St. Deroin relied heavily on the steamboat industry for its growth, the town's economy waned when trains became the preferred method of transportation. Even the river had gone, as it changed its route and moved off to the east. The town was completely abandoned by 1920, as flooding had destroyed almost everything.
We took the short drive to Indian Cave State Park where St. Deroin is located. Upon entering the park, we drove down the narrow, one way road leading to the remains of the small river-town until we came to the little walking bridge leading over to the cabin area. The small log cabin at this site was recreated by the park and filled with artifacts befitting of the age when this town was alive and thriving. Around the cabin were also a soap making stand, candle dipping stand and a blacksmith, all of which are fully working, as the park holds living history reenactments. Across the way sits the school, which remained operational until 1944 and was restored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1978, and the restored general store.
A short trek down the road took us to the allegedly haunted St. Deroin Cemetery, the only other remnant of the once prosperous town. Upon entering the cemetery, you are greeted by a sign that tells the story of the cemetery:
"Time and change have erased all other aspects of the St. Deroin settlement, however the St. Deroin and Half-Breed* cemeteries still remain as the last true witnesses to the community and its people. Through the years, the elements, such as fire and rain, have take atoll on the once-legible grave markers, many of which were no more than wooden crosses and slabs. Many resemble large rocks more than grave markers. The first burial in the cemetery is reputed to have been Joseph DeRoin himself, dated April 1858. A large circle in the southeast corner is said to be his grave-site. According to legend, Deroin was buried there astride his horse, a tree with a saddle and bridle hung from it to mark his grave. This follows the belief that braves were to use their horse spirit to ride to heaven."
Another legend we read tells how A.J. Ritter lost an arm while using dynamite to stun fish. His arm was buried west of the town and when Ritter died, he was buried in the St. Deroin cemetery. It was once told by locals that Ritter occasionally arose from his grave at night in search of his arm.
*We tried to search for the Half-Breed cemetery to no avail. Due to water damage and fallen trees, we weren't able to access the area where the smaller of the two cemeteries is located.
We used our Full Spectrum POV cam* to capture the first set of photographs below. In the full color pictures, we used a Samsung Galaxy Note 9+.
*Note: In the pictures of the school house and the general store, we had to take pictures through the windows. In the full spectrum photos of the general store, what you see is the outline of the reflection of the camera in the window.
(Click to enlarge photographs)
This was the only response we got when trying to talk to the spirits through the Ghost Tube app:
Did you notice something in one of our pictures? Let us know down below!
References and more information on St. Deroin: