Metairie Cemetery

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Metairie Cemetery
MetCem1932Schoolchildren1.jpg
Monuments at Metairie Cemetery
Location Junction of I-10 and Metairie Road, New Orleans, LA
Coordinates 29°59′9″N 90°7′4″W / 29.98583°N 90.11778°W / 29.98583; -90.11778Coordinates: 29°59′9″N 90°7′4″W / 29.98583°N 90.11778°W / 29.98583; -90.11778
Built 1872
Architect Benjamin Morgan Harrod
Architectural style Italianate, Classical Revival, Gothic Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 91001780[1]
Added to NRHP December 6, 1991

Metairie Cemetery is a cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. The name has caused some people to mistakenly presume that the cemetery is located in Metairie, Louisiana, but it is located within the New Orleans city limits, on Metairie Road (and formerly on the banks of the since filled-in Bayou Metairie).

History[edit]

This site was previously a horse racing track, Metairie Race Course, founded in 1838.

The race track was the site of the famous Lexington-Lecomte Race, April 1, 1854, billed as the "North against the South" race. Former President Millard Filmore attended. While racing was suspended because of the American Civil War, it was used as a Confederate Camp (Camp Moore) until David Farragut took New Orleans for the Union in April 1862. Metairie Cemetery was built upon the grounds of the old Metairie Race Course after it went bankrupt. The race track, which was owned by the Metairie Jockey Club, refused membership to Charles T. Howard, a local resident who had gained his wealth by starting the first Louisiana State Lottery. After being refused membership, Howard vowed that the race course would become a cemetery. Sure enough, after the Civil War and Reconstruction, the track went bankrupt and Howard was able to see his curse come true. Today, Howard is buried in his tomb located on Central Avenue in the cemetery, which was built following the original oval layout of the track itself. Mr. Howard died in 1885 in Dobbs Ferry, New York when he fell from a newly purchased horse.

Metairie Cemetery was previously owned and operated by Stewart Enterprises, Inc., of Jefferson, Louisiana. However, in December of 2013, Service Corporation International bought Metairie Cemetery and other Stewart locations.

Sights[edit]

Angel statue at Metairie Cemetery

Metairie Cemetery has the largest collection of elaborate marble tombs and funeral statuary in the city.

One of the most famous is the Army of Tennessee, Louisiana Division monument, a monumental tomb of Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War. The monument includes two notable works by sculptor Alexander Doyle (1857–1922):

  • Atop the tomb is an 1877 equestrian statue of General Albert Sidney Johnston on his horse "Fire-eater", holding binoculars in his right hand. General Johnston was for a time entombed here, but the remains were later removed to Texas.
  • To the right of the entrance to the tomb is an 1885 life size statue represents a Confederate officer about to read the roll of the dead during the American Civil War. The statue is said to be modeled after Sergeant William Brunet of the Louisiana Guard Battery, but is intended to represent all Confederate soldiers.

Other notable monuments in Metairie Cemetery include:

  • the pseudo-Egyptian pyramid
  • the former tomb of Storyville madam Josie Arlington
  • Moriarity tomb, with a marble monument with a height of 60 feet (18 m) tall. A temporary special spur railroad line was built to bring the materials for this monument.
  • Memorial of 19th-century police chief David Hennessy, whose murder sparked a riot.

List of notable and celebrity burials[edit]

Metairie Cemetery in the late nineteenth century
Marble statuary monument to Chapman H. Hyams' sisters. The sculpture is a copy of Story's Angel of Grief

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Badger, Algernon Sidney". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Clarke, Lewis Strong". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.com). Retrieved December 21, 2010. 

External links[edit]