Saturday, August 24, 2013

Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans

Civil War Memorial to the Army of Tennessee, Louisiana Division
In a city known for its cemeteries, each one is more unique and beautiful than the last. One of our favorites, though, is Metairie Cemetery, built on the grounds of a former horse racing track. Opened in 1838, it was the premiere race track of the South, competing with New York. During the Civil War, the race track went bankrupt and never reopened. The site later became an army training camp before being transformed into a cemetery in 1872. Lagoons spanned by stone bridges once meandered along the property's borders, but when the old Basin Canal was filled to build the Pontchartrain Expressway, many of the lagoons suffered a similar fate.

When the weather is nice and the park is packed, we drive to the cemetery, park our car and begin walking the circular track past the countless tombs. While the kids focus on the ants and ladybugs, we read the names of those buried here, looking for familiar ones and admiring the ornate statues and architecture.

In addition to highlighting the most historic crypts along its Louisiana Heritage Trail, Metairie Cemetery is the final resting place of many prominent New Orleanians. Below are some highlights:

Civil War Memorial to the Washington Artillery
Civil War Memorial to the Army of Northern Virginia, Louisiana Division
Daniel Moriarty's monument to the memory of his wife

Original tomb of Storyville madame Josie Arlington
Mausoleum of famed gambler "Never-Smile" Harrington

Tomb of William Claiborne, first American Governor of Louisiana

Marble sarcophagus of Eugene Lacosst (hairdresser, speculator and art collector)
 
15-ton, 18-foot limestone, Celtic cross
  
(Center) Islamic-designed Larendon tomb, built by Gen. Beauregard for his daughter

Mausoleum of Charles T. Howard, philanthropist & founder of the Louisiana Lottery

Statue inside Charles Howard's tomb
  
David McCan tomb located on Millionaire's Row

Close up of the McCan tomb

Brunswig Mausoleum on Millionaire's Row

Close up of the Brunswig Mausoleum's Sphinx

One of many picturesque avenues of tombs

Angel of Grief at tomb of Chapman Hyams (stockbroker, art collector & philanthropist)

Isaac Delgado Sarcophagus (sugar broker & namesake of Delgado Community College)

One of the many angels gracing the top of tombs

Avenue of tombs

1 comment:

  1. An old racetrack? How cool is that! Thanks for sharing. Very nice!

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