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Greenwood and Cypress Grove Cemeteries

Greenwood and Cypress Grove Cemeteries, City Park Ave. and West End Blvd. The Firemen's Benevolent Association controls these two cemeteries, which are situated across the street from one another and just across the Basin from Metairie Cemetery. They contain the tombs of many prominent people of earlier days, including that of Warren Easton, the New Orleans educator. Here are also the mausoleums of the Swiss Society, the Association of Alsace Lorraine, the Typographical Union, and the Elks.

In the front left-hand corner of Greenwood Cemetery, plainly visible from City Park Ave., stands the monument erected in honor of the Confederate dead. The mausoleum, in which more than 600 soldiers are buried, consists of a large mound in the shape of a pyramid, buttressed with granite on the edges. Steps in front lead up to a granite slab, about 8 feet square, and in the center rises a marble shaft 9 feet in height. On the shaft is a life-size statue of a Confederate outpost guard, body bent and bayonet pointed, an expression of dogged watchfulness on the face. Life-size busts of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, Leonidas Polk, and Albert Sidney Johnston adorn the four faces of the shaft. On the south side is the engraved inscription, 'Erected in Memory of the Heroic Virtues of the Confederate Soldier, by the Ladies' Benevolent Association.' B. M. Harrod of New Orleans selected the design for the monument, and its erection was under the management of George Stroud. The material used in the structure is Carrara marble, and the approximate cost was $12,000.

At the entrance, standing beneath a group of Gothic arches, is the 6-foot statue of a fireman, erected in 1887 in honor of the members of the Volunteer Fire Department who lost their lives in service. The statue of the fireman is of marble and was designed by Alexander Doyle. The pedestal and arches are of white Maine granite.

Cypress Grove Cemetery has a gateway in Egyptian style. Here one finds the monuments and tombs of Dr. Warren Stone, outstanding physician; Maunsel White, veteran of 1815; James H. Caldwell, actor, banker, and impresario; and Mayors John P. Conway, Charles J. Leeds, and John T. Monroe. Among the 'ovens' along the Canal St. wall is one with a slab marked 'Grave of Mumford,' in which rests the young Confederate sympathizer who was court-martialed and hanged for pulling down the American flag from the United States Mint in April 1862. A fine monument of Irad Ferry, the first volunteer fireman to meet death while on duty, at afire in Camp Street in 1837, stands just to the right of the entrance. The mausoleum contains the bodies of other members of Ferry's company who lost their lives in combatting fires.

One of the most interesting tombs in this cemetery is the Chinese Mausoleum, a plain square concrete structure with vaults opening on an inside covered court. The slabs all have Arabic numerals, and some have Chinese symbols. In one corner there is an open grate in which incense is burned during burial services. The custom of leaving food as an offering to the dead is no longer observed. The mausoleum belongs to the Chinese tongs and affords a temporary resting-place to its members, since all Chinese are taken to China for burial, regardless of the length of time they have been absent from their native land. At intervals of about ten years the vaults are opened, the bones removed, cleaned and packed in steel boxes, about 30 inches high and 20 inches square, for shipment to China for permanent burial.

STANDARD HISTORY OF NEW ORLEANS. EDITED BY HENRY RIGHTOR THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY CHICAGO 1900. CHAPTER X. OLD BURIAL PLACES. BY A. G. DURNO.
NEW ORLEANS CITY GUIDE

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New Orleans History, 1897-1917


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