Friday, October 23, 2015

New Orleans, Louisiana: St. Louis Cemetery #1

It does seem odd that part of New Orleans is built below sea level. Then again, when you visit you see signs of that fact everywhere.

For example, this cemetery.

St. Louis No. 1 cemetery is the most famous graveyard in St. Louis, probably because it is the oldest. It opened in 1789 after a big fire swept the city.

If you notice, all of the tombs are above ground. You don't want to dig too deeply in the Mississippi Delta. By the way, the air is exactly good for preservation, and the bodies decompose quickly in New Orleans. So families leave loved ones in there a while, and then take out the remains after more than a year and move them somewhere else. Many different people in a family can be taken to the same place over the years.

A couple of mayors are buried here, and so is Homer Plessy. You might remember him as part of one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in history, Plessy vs. Ferguson. Nicholas Cage is said to have paid a bunch of money to buy one of the tombs. I guess he likes to plan ahead.

They do have tours of the place for those interested. The church charges companies an annual rate to enter the grounds, which has created a little conversation. 

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