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Metairie Cemetery is one of New Orleans most famous cemeteries, even though to this day, it is often confused for being a cemetery located in Metairie, Louisiana. Before the grounds became the cemetery in 1872, the grounds held a horse racing track originally constructed in 1838. With the outbreak of the Civil War, the race track became a camp for the local Confederate garrison. After the war, the race track was back in back in operation, until bankruptcy hit. It became a cemetery after a prominent businessman threatened to see the race track become a cemetery when he was refused membership into the race track's Jockey Club. The cemetery contains the graves of many famous and wealthy New Orleans residents, many nationally and internationally renown.


  • The famous Foto grave of Metairie
  • Aerial view of the cemetery. You can see the cemetery was indeed built within the old horse track course.
  • Tomb of CSA General John Bell Hood
  • Burial mound of CSA General Albert Sidney Johnston
  • Marble statuary monument to Chapman H. Hyams' sisters. The sculpture is a copy of Story's Angel of Grief
  • The cemetery in the late 1800s
  • Angel statue at Metairie Cemetery
  • Charles Howard: The man whose threat (or curse?) against the Metairie Race Track came true

This site was previously a horse racing track, Metairie Race Course, founded in 1838. The race track was the site of the famous Lexington-Lecomte Race, April 1, 1854, billed as the "North against the South" race. Former President Millard Fillmore attended. While racing was suspended because of the American Civil War, it was used as a Confederate Camp (Camp Moore) until David Farragut took New Orleans for the Union in April 1862. 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 was previously owned and operated by Stewart Enterprises, Inc., of Jefferson, Louisiana. However, in December 2013, Service Corporation International bought Metairie Cemetery and other Stewart locations.

Famous sites of the cemetery: 

One of the most famous is the Army of Tennessee, Louisiana Division monument, a monumental tomb of Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War. The monument includes two notable works by sculptor Alexander Doyle (1857–1922): Atop the tomb is an 1877 equestrian statue of General Albert Sidney Johnston on his horse "Fire-eater", holding binoculars in his right hand. General Johnston was for a time entombed here, but the remains were later removed to Texas. To the right of the entrance to the tomb is an 1885 life size statue represents a Confederate officer about to read the roll of the dead during the American Civil War. The statue is said to be modeled after Sergeant William Brunet of the Louisiana Guard Battery, but is intended to represent all Confederate soldiers.

Stonewall Jackson Monument, Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans contains a monument dedicated to Stonewall Jackson. Stonewall Jackson was a famous general who fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. His popularity was spread throughout not just the rebellious southern states, but also people who studied his military tactics. Jackson received the nickname of Stonewall for his command of 1st Virginia Infantry Brigade where his command stopped a Union assault at the First Battle of Manassas in July of 1961 (l Jones).

The Stonewall Jackson monument is the located on the burial site for veterans of the Civil War. It is built on a tumulus located on the eastern portion of the old horserace track. The cemetery originally was a race track that eventually fell out of use. Charles T. Howard purchased the track where he envisioned that it would hold the remains of wealthy New Orleanians (Branley). The monument is located on a 38 foot columnn.

The dedication of the monument took place on May 10, 1881 which was the same date as the eighteenth anniversary of Jackson’s death. There were about 10,000 people in attendance at the dedication. Additionally, the monument honors those troops that fought under Jackson’s command (Branley). It was designed by Achille Perelli of New Orleans (storyvilledistrictnola).

Like many of the Civil War monuments, there is controversy surrounding the Stonewall Jackson monument. Those involved in the dedication of the monument highlighted the importance of the soldiers. For instance, a Mr. Davis made remarks,

“Our objects, like those of our brethren in Virginia, are purely benevolent, historical, and non-political. Any man whose record is clear as a soldier in the Army of Northern Virginia is welcome to our ranks, whatever be his present political feeling.”

Davis was part of a committee that charged with erecting the tomb. This group views the construction and erection of the monument as something that honors the people of the Civil War. In 1881, the south was still reconstructing itself following its defeat in the Civil War. Their words suggest that they desired the Stonewall Jackson monument was an attempt at reconciliation due to it being non-political.

There are others who argue that the monument is anything but non-political due to it honoring someone who was charged with preserving the southern way of life which included the bondage of human beings. There are also those people who see the statue as preserving what the south fought for such as John B. Richardson who served as president of the tomb committee, “designed to perpetuate the memory of those who fought and fell for the Lost Cause, and at the same time a fitting place of rest for those who must soon follow (csa-dixie).” Richardson and many others desired to ensure that the historical legacy of the Confederacy would be remembered in Louisiana.

Today, the monument is still on the grounds of the Metairie Cemetery. It is still considered one of the popular destinations for those who take cemetery tours in the area. People aren’t aware of the exact nature of the history behind the monument so a firm understanding of the hurt that some people feel about the monument is lost to supporters of the statue.  


Other notable monuments in Metairie Cemetery include:

-The pseudo-Egyptian pyramid
-Laure Beauregard Larendon's tomb, which features Moorish details and beautiful stained glass; the former tomb of Storyville madam Josie Arlington;
-The Moriarty tomb with a marble monument with a height of 60 feet (18 m) tall, which required the construction of a temporary special spur railroad line to transport the monument's building materials to the cemetery; and
-The memorial of 19th-century police chief David Hennessy, whose murder sparked a riot.

The initial construction of at least one of these elaborate final resting places – restaurateur Ruth Fertel’s mausoleum – is estimated to have cost between $125,000 to $500,000.

Notable burials within:

-Algernon Sidney Badger, New Orleans government official during and after Reconstruction
-T. L. Bayne, first Tulane University football coach and organizer of first football game in New Orleans
-P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate General. Former Superintendent at West Point.
-Renato Cellini, operatic conductor
-William C. C. Claiborne, first U.S. Governor of Louisiana
-Marguerite Clark, stage & film actress
-Lewis Strong Clarke, sugar planter and Republican politician
-Isaac Cline was the chief meteorologist at the Galveston, Texas office of the US Weather Bureau from 1889 to 1901. In that role, he became an integral figure in the devastating Galveston Hurricane of 1900.
-Hamilton D. Coleman was a businessman who held Louisiana's 2nd congressional district seat from 1889 to 1891. He was the last Republican member of the U.S. House from Louisiana until 1973.
-Al Copeland, founder of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and several other restaurants.
-Jefferson Davis was buried at Metairie Cemetery, but his remains were later moved to Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
-Dorothy Dell, film actress of the 1930s
-Dorothy Dix, advice columnnist
-Charles E. Dunbar, New Orleans attorney and civil service reformer
-Joachim O. Fernández, U.S. Representative from Louisiana's 1st congressional district from 1931 to 1941
-Ruth U. Fertel, founder of Ruth's Chris Steak House
-Benjamin Flanders, Reconstruction-era state governor and New Orleans mayor
-Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney
-Michael Hahn, Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Governor of Louisiana
-Benjamin Morgan Harrod, civil engineer who designed New Orleans water/sewerage system
-William W. Heard, Governor of Louisiana from 1900-1904
-William G. Helis, Sr., American oilman, racehorse/owner breeder
-Andrew Higgins, inventor of the "Higgins Boat"
-Al Hirt, jazz trumpeter
-Ken Hollis, state senator from Jefferson Parish
-John Bell Hood, Confederate General
-Chapman H. Hyams, stockbroker, businessman and philanthropist
-Ed Karst, mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana, from 1969 to 1973
-Grace King, author
-Richard W. Leche, Governor of Louisiana
-Harry Lee, Sheriff of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
-Samuel D. McEnery, Governor of Louisiana
-John Albert Morris, the "Lottery King"
-deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison, Sr., Mayor of New Orleans
-deLesseps Story "Toni" Morrison, Jr., state legislator from Orleans Parish
-Elwyn Nicholson, state senator from 1972 to 1988, grocery store owner
-Alton Ochsner, surgeon, co-founder of Ochsner Clinic (now Ochsner Health System)
-Lionel Ott, member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1940 to 1945 and the last New Orleans finance commissioner from 1946 to 1954
-Mel Ott, Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player
-Benjamin M. Palmer, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans (1856–1902)
-John M. Parker, governor of Louisiana
-P. B. S. Pinchback, African American Governor of Louisiana for 35 days, 1872–1873
-Louis Prima, bandleader
-Stan Rice, poet
-John Leonard Riddell, melter and refiner of Mint 1839-1848, Postmaster 1859-1862, inventor of the binocular microscope
-Louis J. Roussel, Jr., businessman and political donor
-John G. Schwegmann, supermarket pioneer and member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature
-James Z. Spearing, U.S. representative, 1924-1931, from Louisiana's 2nd congressional district
-Norman Treigle, opera star
-Helen Turner, painter
-Cora Witherspoon, stage and screen character actress


Snyder, Laurie. Cities of the Dead: Metairie Cemetery (New Orleans, Louisiana), in The Contemplative Traveler, November 25, 2016.

Metairie Cemetery, The Contemplative Traveler

 "A NOTED LOTTERY MAN DEAD.; CAREER OF CHARLES T. HOWARD, OF THE LOUISIANA COMPANY". The New York Times. June 1, 1885. Retrieved 2011-12-03. Charles T. Howard, of New-Orleans, the well-known chief of the Louisiana Lottery Company, died at Ingleside, Dobbs Ferry, in this State, yesterday. While out driving on Wednesday he was thrown from his carriage.

Branley, F. (2013, May 6). NOLA history: Metarie cemetery in New Orleans. Retrieved from http://gonola.com/things-to-do-in-new-orleans/things-to-do/nola-history-metairie-cemetery-in-new-orleans.  

Dedication of the tomb of the army of northern Virginia association and unveiling of the statute of Stonewall Jackson at New Orleans. Southern Historical Society Papers, (Jan.-Dec. 1881)Vol. IX. Retrieved from http://www.csa-dixie.com/csa/gazette/jackson/dedicationoftombanvstonewallstatue.htm.

Jones, M. (2015, January 21). Stonewall Jackson-Happy birthday! The South’s Defender. Retrieved from https://thesouthsdefender.blogspot.com/2015/01/stonewall-jackson-happy-birthday.html.

Metairie cemetery.(n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.storyvilledistrictnola.com/cemeteries_metairie.html.