Taking a Road Trip to New Orleans?
There are three sections to the St. Louis Cemetery located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Section No.1 is the oldest, opening in 1789 as the main burial site after a fire in 1788.This cemetery spans only one square block but it is the resting place for thousands. In 2010, Hollywood movie actor Nicholas Cage purchased a pyramid shaped tomb as his future final resting place. The cemetery is one block beyond the border of the French Quarter and is eight blocks from the Mississippi River. Section No.1 is also the most famous section of the three since several famous people are buried here.They include:
Paul Morphy, one of the earliest world champions of chess.
Barthelemy Lafon, the architect and surveyor who became one of Jean Lafitte’s pirates.
Benjamin Latrobe, Architect and engineer who died from yellow fever in 1820.
Etienne de Boré, wealthy pioneer of the sugar industry and the first mayor of New Orleans.
Homer Plessy, the plaintiff from the landmark 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision on civil rights.
Ernest N. “Dutch” Morial, the first African-American mayor of New Orleans.
Marie Laveau, famous Voodoo Priestess, is believed to be interred in the Glapion family crypt.
Bernard de Marigny, French-Creole aristocrat who founded both Faubourg Marigny and Manderville Louisiana.
Delphine LaLaurie, the notoriously cruel slave owner.
St. Louis No. 2
This section borders Claibourne Avenue and was consecrated in 1823. St. Louis No.2 was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It is located three block back from St. Louis No. 1. This section boasts many notables including an African-American hero of the American Civil War by the name of Andre Caillous, and Jean Lafitte, Ernie K. Doe and Danny Barker, notable rhythm and blues and jazz musicians.
There are many notable citizens of 19th and 20th century New Orleans laid to rest here. For example the tomb of Venerable Mother Henriette DeLille, a candidate for sainthood by the Catholic Church, Jean Baptiste Dupeire, prominent citizen of New Orleans, among others.The cemetery received minor flooding during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and the tombs seemed virtually untouched by the storm when the water went down. The only evidence was a brown waterline seen on all structures.
Famous Politicians Buried Here:
Jacques Villeré, (1761-1830) Governor of Louisiana.
Pierre Soulé, (1801–1870) Member of Louisiana state senate, 1845; U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 1847, 1849–53; U.S. Minister to Spain, 1853–55; general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
Charles Genois, (c.1793-1866) Mayor of New Orleans, La., 1838-40.
Carleton Hunt, (1836–1921) Served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; U.S. Representative from Louisiana 1st District, 1883-85.
Ignacy Szymański, (1806–1874) He served in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He was appointed to colonel of Chalmette Regiment, mainly made of Scandinavian immigrants from the Louisiana State Militia.
Dominique You, Privateer.
St. Louis No. 3
This section opened in 1854 and is located two miles back from the French Quarter. Crypts in this section are more elaborate as there are several elegant 19th century marble tombs. Entombed in these include individuals such as ragtime composer Paul Sarebresole, painter Ralston Crawford and photographer E. J. Bellocq. Also located in this portion of the cemetery is a Greek Orthodox section. Although this cemetery was damaged during the floods cause by Hurricane Katrina (2005), these tombs sustained very little damage.
It is said that there are numerous restless souls in this cemetery and there are claims that these spirits have talked to people. They are often mistaken for the living and appear as solid form. Apparitions include those of:
Alphonse, A young man who has appeared to people as lonely and depressed. He warns people to stay away from the Pinead Family Vault and he has also been known to ask for help in going to his home. He often cries and then disappears.
Henry Vignes, A man who is searching for the vault that contains his remains. He is described as being tall, dressed in a white shirt and that he has piercing blue eyes. Henry has been known to bother people at funerals.
Finally there is the famous Voodoo Priestess, Marie Laveau. Born in 1801 as Marie Catherine Laveau, she was a Creole practitioner of Voodoo, well renowned in New Orleans. Marie had a daughter, Marie Laveau II, (1827-1895) who also practiced Voudoun as well as Voodoo. She and her mother had great influence over their multiracial following. In 1874 a crowd of well over 12, 000 people, both black and white, arrived on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain to catch a glimpse of Marie Laveau II performing her legendary rites from June 23rd-24th, also known as St. John’s Eve. Marie Laveau died on June 16th, 1881.
Over the years people have reported sightings, of being touched, being slapped and frightened by the Voodoo Priestess. A significant number offerings, as well as prayers and personal requests, are regularly made from visitors.
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