In 1849, a cholera outbreak struck St. Louis and claimed more than 4,000 lives. To lower the likelihood of others becoming sick, city officials banned the creation of new cemeteries within city limits. Since existing cemeteries within St. Louis city limits were nearly full, Calvary Cemetery was established in 1854 several miles northwest of St. Louis by Archbishop Peter Kenrick after purchasing Senator Henry Clay's Old Orchard Farm. The cemetery continues to be operated by the Archdiocese of St. Louis and is the second oldest cemetery in the Archdiocese. It contains 470 acres of land and more than 300,000 graves.