Tomb’s Quiet Interior

Many of the tombs here at the Metairie Cemetery are inaccessible – there are heavy, locked gates across them. Fortunately, though, my camera fit between the bars of the gates and I was able to capture this graceful interior.

Historical note: the cemetery grounds were originally a horse-racing track. And New Orleans being New Orleans, the story doesn’t stop there:

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
New Orleans, Louisiana
photographed 4.24.2018

*Read more here.

Posted on May 13, 2018, in Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Another great find. Seems as though the horses got revenge on both groups.


    • It was very entertaining to find out the connection (on both ends of the story) to horses. When I was in grad school in New Orleans, studying urban planning, we did some reading on cemetery history, and their use as parks in an era when there wasn’t green space in cities (that seems like nearly the only thing I still remember from school). Anyway, as part of that, we learned about Metairie Cemetery’s prior use as a racetrack. It took a blog + Wikipedia for me to learn about the fate of that poor gentleman.


  2. Oh dear sounds much like a merry-go-round. Such an interesting history. And you are so right, the interior is incredibly graceful ..


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