Category Archives: Louisiana

Holt Cemetery, Orleans Parish

Items left on a grave.

Started in 1879, Holt Cemetery is a potter’s field cemetery in New Orleans. It is filled with vernacular headstones. At 7 acres, it is a small, densely packed cemetery. It is still active. When I visited, they were preparing for another funeral.

Metairie Cemetery, Orleans Parish

There are so many amazing monuments at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans. This is one of the art deco ones to memorialize Charles F Beck (1892-1928). Whenever a hurricane makes landfall, I always wonder how much more the city can endure. It is a city of resilience, so I would never count it out.

Whitney Plantation, St. John the Baptist Parish

When I was in Louisiana, I visited the Whitney Plantation, the only plantation that focuses on the experience of the enslaved. It does not romanticize plantation culture, which many plantations do. There are some plantations that are doing a better job at sharing these stories, but the Whitney has set the gold standard for this. I recommend everyone to make the effort to visit. For all photo descriptions, I am referencing the Whitney website or their audio tour.

The Morales-Arlington Tomb at Metairie Cemetery

Josie Arlington was a well-known madam in New Orleans. Before her death, she purchased this plot in Metairie Cemetery and commissioned to have this tomb built. Upon her death, she was briefly interred and then removed to an unknown burial plot when her family fought over her estate.

Jose Morales, a local lawyer, bought the tomb for his wife and children. This stirred controversy among community members, and her tomb attracted attention. At one point, a red light was installed close to her tomb and it looked like the tomb was on fire. The light was later removed.

To date, the Metairie staff have not revealed where Josie is buried.

This tomb and sculpture are listed as part of the Smithsonian’s Save our Sculpture! project and is listed on the Inventory of American Sculpture.