|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2013)|
The cemetery was established in 1879 to inter the bodies of poorer residents, and was frequently used due to allowing funerals to proceed around, rather than through, the city; it was expanded in 1909. It contains 99% in-ground burials.
The cemetery contains the remains of known and unknown early jazz musicians, including Charles "Buddy" Bolden. The battered remains of Robert Charles, at the center of the 1900 New Orleans race riot were briefly interred there, then dug up, and incinerated. Later, in 1973, four victims of the UpStairs Lounge arson attack, Ferris LeBlanc and three unidentified males, were buried in a mass grave at the cemetery.
The word "Holt" means "Dead" in Hungarian.