In late 2008, when I was bored and unemployed, I assisted a friend in proof-reading a guide (print and Excel version) of people buried at St. Louis No 2 Cemetery. The guide is now in another revision stages; students from Xavier University are verifying or adding names in the guide as part of a service activity.
On March 27th, I was able to see the actual cemetery as part of the Save Our Cemetery Guided Tour. This cemetery is not very safe; it's in a high crime area, so don't visit this on your own.
I found out that during Hurricane Katrina, the flooding wasn't so deep: just knee deep. Many of the tombs are still standing; I really admire the craftsmanship.
Many of the people buried in the 1800s had one thing in common: their dislike of the new Americans. African-Americans and Caucasians were buried side by side, and the writings were in French and Spanish. Americans were really not welcomed here.
Some of the tombs are really elegant. This marble engraving depicts the steamboat explosion that killed a young man. Angels are ready to receive him in heaven.
This is a larger view of the same vault. Notice the elegant guardian angels. And 1-10 in the background.
Many tombs have fences around them. I love the elegant designs.
In the 1800s, benevolent societies were formed. It paid for the burial of members and assisted the widows and children. Many people paid in and were buried in one vault. (Some families also had multiple burials.)
However, not all the tombs are in good condition. Family members must maintain the tombs. However, if a family or organization don't exist or moved away, the burial places can be damaged and if no one comes forward, it can't be touched for 50 years. Only then, can the Catholic Church take over and make the repairs.
For more photographs, click here.
I plan to go on another cemetery tour in the future. Keep an eye out for the post.