Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery (New Orleans)
The land for this cemetery was purchased in 1847 by the society, The Odd Fellows, for the purpose as a place bury the society's deceased members. Opening in 1849, the cemetery is one of New Orleans's oldest cemeteries. However, beginning in the late 1800s and throughout the 1900s, even to today, the cemetery slowly became neglected. The neglect has caused the cemetery to be placed in New Orleans's "Most Endangered Sites" list. There is only one known member of the Odd Fellows residing in New Orleans. There are over 500 Odd Fellows buried within and much of the tombs and architecture contain Odd Fellow symbols.
Backstory and Context
Eventually the walks of the cemetery were laid out and named for Louisiana's past grand masters of the Order. By 1852 two hundred burial vaults had been erected and the tomb of the Teutonia Lodge No. 10 finished. Two sides of the cemetery were enclosed with wall vaults and by the 1930s nearly all the land in the small cemetery had been sold and built upon. By the 1960s, the traffic situation at the intersection of Canal Street and City Park Boulevard had become such a problem that the City of New Orleans made a proposal to the Odd Fellows for the transfer of the cemetery. But after months of negotiations they failed to reach agreement, and so Odd Fellows Rest, despite the neglect and vandalism it has suffered in recent years, has remained in its original location.