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25th Annual New…

Oct 20 - 23, 2014
The New Orleans Film Festival- Louisiana's only industry-recognized film… more

Fall Fete

Oct 20 - 20, 2014
Join the  Vieux Carre Commission Foundation for Fall Fete. . more

Jon Cleary & the…

Oct 20 - 20, 2014
Join us for Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen. more

Sacred to the Memory…

Oct 20 - Nov 17, 2014
Showcasing both the historic Hermann-Grima House museum and St. Louis Cemetery… more

TAI CHI/CHI KUNG…

Oct 20 - 27, 2014
NOMA has teamed up with the East Jefferson Wellness Center to offer wellness… more

THE GUANTÁNAMO PUBLIC…

Oct 20 - 30, 2014
This traveling exhibit examines the history of the U.S. naval base in… more

The Mysterious…

Oct 20 - Nov 23, 2014
You are invited to the Mysterious Wisterias Plantation for an evening of music… more

The Victory Belles…

Oct 20 - Nov 19, 2014
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Oct 20, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

Tricks... Treats...…

Oct 20 - Nov 8, 2014
Kids won't want to miss this strange tour when we pull away the mask and see… more

"Organ and Labyrinth"…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for  "Organ and Labyrinth" and Candlelight with Albinas… more

Kinder Garden: Creepy…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Play, learn and grow in this hands-on introduction to the world of gardens for… more

Maple Leaf Bar…

Oct 21 - 28, 2014
Join us for live entertainment featuring the Grammy Award winning ReBirth Brass… more

Standing in the…

Oct 21 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (no more)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

Standing in the…

Oct 21 - Nov 25, 2014
"Standing in the Shadows (No More)" is a series of narrative quilting… more

Tommy Castro & the…

Oct 21 - 21, 2014
Join us for live entertainment  at the Maple Leaf Bar featuring Tommy… more

"America's Wartime…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Known for close harmonies, synchronized dance steps, and exuberant performances… more

GALATOIRE’S 33 BAR &…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Galatoire's 33 Bar & Steak will present a beer dinner featuring New Belgium… more

Irvin Mayfield's Jazz…

Oct 22 - Nov 26, 2014
Join us at The Irvin Mayfield Jazz Playhouse at the Royal Sonesta Hotel for… more

Lagniappe…

Oct 22 - 22, 2014
Join local author Sally Asher as she discusses her new book Hope and New… more

25th Annual New…

Oct 20 - 23, 2014
The New Orleans Film Festival- Louisiana's only industry-recognized film… more

Cities of the Dead

A very famous writer, upon visiting New Orleans, said: "You can tell a great deal about a community by the way they honor their dead, and without meeting any of the people of New Orleans, yet I can tell you I know I'm going to like them, for very few cities that I have visited throughout the world honor the dead as they do here."

Most deceased here are interred above ground, a situation forced on the area because of the city's high water table and below sea-level elevation.

There are 42 cemeteries in the metropolitan New Orleans area. All feature family-built tombs capable of interring as many as a dozen deceased. The largest cemetery is Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery and very definitely worth a visit to view incredibly beautiful tombs set in lovely garden areas and topped with handsome sculpture.

In the mid-1800s, this was the site of the Metairie Racetrack and Jockey Club. Legend is that an American millionaire named Charles Howard was denied admission to the clubhouse, his sin being that he was not a Creole. The miffed millionaire vowed to buy and bury the track and the club. In l872, the site became a cemetery and, in 1885, when Howard died, his eternal resting place was on the grounds of the former Jockey Club. His ornate mausoleum features a statue of a man with his finger to his lips, seeking an atmosphere of respectful silence for those in rest here.

At what was once the main entrance to Metairie Cemetery, you will find the largest of monuments at 85 feet tall. It is the Moriarity tomb. As the story goes, Daniel Moriarity, an Irish immigrant, became a very successful businessman. His beloved wife died in 1887 and Daniel set about to honor her in death like no other.

Although Daniel was successful in commerce, he and his wife could never break into New Orleans society, lacking the "proper" blood lines. Daniel had a friend design the impressive memorial to his beloved - a huge granite shaft topped with a cross of the same material. Daniel wanted his wife, in death, to look down her nose at those who had snubbed the couple for so many years. He told the sculptor he wanted four life-sized statues placed atop the monument, each facing a different direction, and representing the Graces of Faith, Hope and Charity. The fourth would honor Mrs. Moriarity.

Upon arrival from out-of-state of the monument, it was discovered that no local drayage company had equipment large enough to transport it. A railroad spur from the mainline had to be laid directly into the cemetery in order to complete the delivery. The first erecting firm went bankrupt, and a second was hired allowing for final erection of the huge structure.

A circular sidewalk was installed around the base of the monument consisting of stones from various states throughout the country, each weighing eleven tons. When the walk was completed, Mrs. Moriarity's remains were transferred from her original burial site.

The final cost was set at $l85, 000.00. Because of the couple's age differences, Mrs. Moriarity stipulated in her will that only the date of her death be shown, not wanting to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing how much older she was from her spouse. After the stonecutter inscribed the information given him by Moriarity, he realized the date he'd carved was one day off the correct one. He tactfully approached Morarity, admitting the error and offered to correct it for the small sum of $2.50. Grunting, Moriarity said, "The hell with it. I've spent enough already."

After Mrs. Moriarity's remains were interred under the monument, the widower called the contractor back to advise him that the cross was crooked and he would not pay one cent until it was corrected. The second contractor went back to work and, like the first, went into bankruptcy. Moriarity, meanwhile, moved to California for health reasons and, upon his death 36 years later, was buried alongside his wife.

The Moriarity monument is but one of many remarkable structures in Metairie Cemetery. Be certain your tour guide shows you the "Woman With the Lantern" tomb and the truly sad story of its construction.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

This cemetery was the fourth in New Orleans and was laid out in two squares. A third square was set aside for the burial of African-American Catholics. Such notable African-Americans as voodoo queen Marie Laveau, members of the Sisters of the Holy Family, and former mayor Ernest "Dutch" Morial are buried here.

Cemetery tours are conducted daily by a number of tour companies.S

This material may be reproduced for editorial purposes of promoting New Orleans. Please attribute stories to New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. 2020 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130 504-566-5019. http://www.neworleanscvb.com/.