5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. and founded in 1872, Metairie is entered in the National Register of Historic Places. It contains diverse cemetery architecture, including a Roman temple, an Egyptian Revival tomb, and the memorials of the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Northern Virginia. Open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, it can be safely toured. Go to the funeral home office for information.
This site was previously a horse racing track, Metarie Race Course founded in 1838. The great oval of the old racetrack can still be seen as part of the cemetery roadway system. Metairie Cemetery covers 150 acres with over 7,000 graves.
Many Local tales of ghost seen in Metarie Cemetery here day and night.
According to a story well known locally, one Charles T. Howard, a "new money" wealthy gentleman who came to the city from Baltimore, Maryland, was refused membership in the track's exclusive "Louisiana Jockey Club". In revenge, he purchased the track grounds and converted it into a cemetery. Some local historians accept the story, others say that the race grounds were sold due to financial stress. Either way, the cemetery was opened here in 1872, and the tomb of Charles T. Howard is prominently placed in the center. Often people say his ghost is heard moving arounmd in his tomb,
A few tombs predating the foundation of this cemetery can be found here; these were originally erected in other local cemeteries and were moved here after Metarie became the city's most prestigious cemetery. Metarie Cemetery has the largest collection of elaborate marble tombs and funeral statuary in the city. A local Psychic says ghost tourist often come from their own cemeteries to visit this cemetery and admire the fine tombs.
Notables buried in Metairie Cemetery include William C. C. Claiborne, the first U.S. governor of Louisiana, P.G.T. Beauregard and other Confederate veterans, and jazz musicians legendary greats Louis Prima and Al Hirt.
Other impressive Metairie Cemetery tombs: the pseudo-Egyptian pyramid the former tomb of Storyville madam Josie Arlington. Not to be missed is the pyramid-and-Sphinx Brunswig mausoleum
The giant Moriarity tomb, with a 60 foot tall marble monument. A temporary special spur railroad line was built to bring the materials for the impressive monument here.
Memorial of 19th century police chief Hennesey, whose murder sparked a riot. his ghost is said to walk around the cemetery keep a watchful eye for vandals.
Metairie Cemetery, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, was entered in the National Register of Historic Places on December 6, 1991. It was given this honor in recognition of its stature as the burial place of many famous men and women and the home to many breathtaking aboveground family mausoleums, tombs and monuments. These magnificent memorials, made of marble, granite and brick, testify to the dignity and significance of all of the people who are buried there, whether famous or not.
The grounds of Metairie Cemetery originally held a race track that was quite popular in its heyday. The oval outline of the Metairie Race Course, built in 1838, can still be seen in the cemetery today. But the ravages of the Civil War and Reconstruction caused the race track to falter, and on May 25, 1872, the land was converted into a cemetery, owned by the Metairie Cemetery Association. It was an irregular rectangle of about 80 acres, bordered by swamp and bayou.
The cemetery was designed by Colonel Benjamin Morgan Harrod, a Civil War veteran and a prominent engineer. He used the race track as the basis of his design and laid the cemetery out in three main ovals bisected by cross avenues, in turn crossed by diagonals. This created several magnificent circles and triangles.
The grounds were already graced with oak trees. Harrod further enhanced the beauty of the terrain by digging several lagoons and building rustic stone bridges across them. Today, only one lagoon has survived; they became stagnant when the adjacent New Basin Canal was filled in, and most were covered up.
Metairie Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous and revered people, including nine governors of the state of Louisiana; seven mayors of New Orleans; and three Confederate generals—including P.G.T. Beauregard and Richard "Dick" Taylor, son of U.S. President Zachary Taylor. Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America, was entombed here temporarily after his death in New Orleans in 1889. Louis Prima, the world-famous singer and entertainer, is also buried here.