Notable New Orleans Tombs

The Angel of Grief is one of the most striking sculptures in Metairie Cemetery. The mausoleum was designed by Favrot & Livaudais using granite from Stone Mountain. The sculpture is a copy of “The Angel of Grief Weeping Over the Dismantled Altar of Life”. The original is in Rome and was made by William Wetmore Story for his wife in 1894.

During her lifetime — 1801-1881 — Marie Laveau was an herbalist, midwife, and savvy businesswoman. In death, she was crowned the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans with many myths and legends surrounding her. One of the most toured cemeteries is Saint Louis No. 1 which has the tomb Marie was supposedly buried in. Some people want to get a wish granted by marking three X’s and shouting their wish. If the wish is granted, they are supposed to circle the X’s and leave an offering. If you are here, I am preaching to the choir, but please do not deface tombs.

E. J. Bellocq was a photographer in New Orleans in the first half of the 20th century. He became notable in the art world in the 1970s when Lee Friedlander found a box of his glass plate negatives from the Storyville District. Storyville was the area of New Orleans in 1897-1917 where prostitution was legal. The intimate portraits show the woman where they live and work. Little is known about Bellocq’s life and why he made the portraits. He is buried in a family tomb in Saint Louis No. 3. Photographers often leave flowers, trinkets, and film for him.

Nicolas Cage has an interesting history with New Orleans. Cage fell in love with New Orleans and purchased the LaLaurie Mansion. The house is considered haunted after all of the horror that was seen in the house. Shortly after the home purchase, he had much bad luck befall him, eventually declaring bankruptcy. He had to sell the mansion. Assigning the troubles to the purchase of the haunted home, he decided that Marie Laveau might help him. Though Saint Louis I is closed to new burials, Cage made some deals to be able to get a tomb there. He made a giant pyramid with the saying Omnia Ab Uno — Everything from One. As of today, he is alive and well and women leave lip stick kisses for Cage on his tomb.

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