Imagine my surprise to see Metairie Cemetery on your quiz!!  Located in New Orleans
on the site of the former Metairie Race Track...many of my close relatives are buried
there, & I visit it often. Both of my parent's families are represented by at least 5 tombs
in this cemetery, & most of them are located in the older section near Metairie Road &
the expressway (that corner was the site of the original entrance, later moved when the
expressway was built). Fortunately [they] didn't flood after Katrina, although many
tombs & graves did flood. We drove through not long ago & noticed waterlines at 2-3
feet on tombs in some sections.  Many famous & infamous people buried here,
including PGT Beauregard - Confederate General- & Josie Arlington - Storyville madam
- Al Hirt & Louis Prima, etc. I just finished reading an excellent
book by Henri Gandolfo
(borrowed from my parents, who have an autographed copy) on the history of Metairie
Cemetery. Mr. Gandolfo is also buried here.

Lots of interesting history there - for just about every family in the city!!  My Mom's
father designed the red granite domed tomb for the Dibert family (as an engineer, not
architect) & my Dad's first cousins were the models for the cast bronze boy & girl on
another noted tomb (can't remember at the moment), but Mr. Gandolfo's book has it
incorrectly as her niece & nephew.  My Dad knows the connections to that story.

Some of my favorite tombs/monuments include the Celtic cross & the cast iron tombs,
the tumuli (sp?) of the 2 Confederate army regiments, & various society (as in
membership) mausoleums.                                                                    
Pam Rein

Many years ago my husband and I visited Louisiana and saw those above ground
tombstones and took some pictures.  We learned it was necessary to have them above
ground because of the water level there.   They were cemeteries that seemed to just
appear along the road with just a few monuments.  They were fascinating to look at,
with the Spanish moss hanging from nearby trees.                                   
Eva Royal

I thought it was interesting that the cemeteries in New Orleans are primarily above-
ground vaults.  While researching the quiz, I found the site which talked about the “Cities of
the Dead” and, that due to the high water table, the coffins would literally float out of
the ground if buried.  For the above ground burial vaults, entire families continue to be
buried in a single vault.  After the body decomposes in about 2 years, the remains are
placed in a bag and stuck in the corner (and the casket destroyed), making room for the
new burial.                                                                                    
Evan Hindman

What an interesting life Pinckney had! From the photos that I have found of him, he
doesn't appear to have any black blood in him. I sat down at my computer this morning
to get ready for a meeting later on today. I couldn't leave the quiz alone! You are a BAD
influence!!!!! ;-)                                                                                
Grace Hertz

When I first saw the aerial photograph, my first thought was “gosh, that looks like a
cribbage board!”  Then I read the question, and had to laugh, because it was obviously
a racetrack.   Guess it shows that I have no gambling instincts….          
Mary Fraser

When my grandparents retired they moved back to where they had grown up--Osyka
MS and the Kentwood LA area.  One time when I visited them in the late '70's we went
to a cemetery that was just over the border in LA somewhere that was just a flat spot
without trees on the edge of town, except in the middle.  There was a high brick wall
that was falling down from neglect, with iron gates that enclosed a Jewish cemetery.  
The graves in it were raised and coffin-sized with cement sides and dirt inside.  Trees
had grown from the graves and through the walls and it was a real mess, but only
about 30 by 40 feet or so.  The tall, thin headstones were all gray and incised with
names and long descriptions in the native tongue of the immigrants--for it looked like an
entire village had immigrated to there.  I was so surprized to see a Jewish cemetery in
that place, normally expecting to find them near large cities.

Isn't the internet wonderful?  I did a search and look what I found.  My memory was
right on.
                                                                              Marilyn Hamill
these were originally erected in other local cemeteries and were moved here after
Metairie became the city's most prestigious cemetery. The cemetery is actually in New
Orleans not in Metairie as the name would seem to indicate; it is located on Metairie
Road. Metairie Cemetery covers 150 acres (607,000 m²) with over 7,000 graves. and
Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (May 10, 1837 –
December 21, 1921) was the first African-American to
become governor of a U.S. State. Pinchback, a
Republican, served as the governor of Louisiana from
December 9, 1872 to January 13, 1873. Not until 1990
did Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the second African-
American to serve as a state governor (and the first to be
elected to the office). Deval Patrick of Massachusetts will
be the third when he takes office in January 2007.

Pinchback was born in Macon, Georgia to a white planter
(William Pinchback) and his former slave, Eliza Stewart.
During the Civil War, Pinchback traveled to Louisiana and
became the only African-American officer in the Union-
controlled Louisiana Native Guards. After the war, he
became active in the Republican Party and participated in
Reconstruction state conventions. In 1868, Pinchback
was elected as a Louisiana state senator, where he became
the state Senate president pro tempore. He became acting
lieutenant governor following the death of Oscar Dunn,
the first elected African-American lieutenant governor of a
U.S. State. Pinchback was elevated to the Louisiana
governorship upon the impeachment and removal from
office of his predecessor, Republican governor Henry
Clay Warmoth, for political corruption and for allegedly
"stealing" the governor's office from John McEnery.
Lots of famous people are buried in Metairie cemetery including:
Oops, forgot to post the GPS coordinates of the cemetery.
The center of the cemetery is roughly
29 deg 58 min 56.28 sec N latitued
90 deg 07 min 07.03 sec W longitude
Quiz #84 - November 3, 2006
This is an aerial view of a cemetery that is supposedly a converted racetrack.
Where is the cemetery located?
What is the name of the cemetery?
Name any one famous person who is buried there.

On Wednesday, I will post the GPS coordinates of the cemetery for those of you who need a hint..
Quiz #84 Results
Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Metairie Cemetery
Comments from Our Readers
Metairie Cemetery
c. Metairie Rd. & Ponchartrain Blvd., New Orleans, LA

P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate military officer
John Bell Hood, Confederate military officer


William C. C. Claiborne, First U.S. Governor of Louisiana, 1812-1816
Samuel D. McEnery, Governor of Louisiana 1881-1888
William W. Heard, Governor of Louisiana 1900-1904
John M. Parker, Governor of Louisiana 1920-1924
Richard W. Leche, Governor of Louisiana 1936-1939
Martin Behrman, Mayor of New Orleans, 1904-1920, 1925-1926
deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison, Sr., Mayor of New Orleans 1946-1961
deLesseps Story "Toni" Morrison, Jr., State Rep Orleans Parish
Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney
Charles Francis Buck, U. S. Congressman from LA 1895-1897


Al Hirt, jazz trumpeter
Louis Prima, bandleader
Norman Treigle, opera star
Marguerite Clark, stage & film actress


Grace King, author
Stan Rice, poet
Dorothy Dix, advice columnist


Mel Ott, Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player
Thomas L. Bayne, First Coach of Tulane University's Football Team


John Leonard Riddell,
Melter and Refiner of Mint 1839-1848
Postmaster 1859-1862
Inventor of the binocular microscope
Jefferson Davis, President of Confederacy, Original Tomb, Later Moved
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Grace Hertz                Debbie Sterbinsky
Linda Dean                Jennefer Woods
Barbara Cangiamilla                Mary Atwood
Norm D. Hellmers                Joan F. Schaefer
Carolyn Long                Kathy Storm
Marilyn Hamill                Lynda Snider
Sandy Thompson                Eva Royal
Lu Eddy                Evan Hindman
Tracy Luscombe                Barbara Murphy
Gary Sterne          Robert Dale Cheetham
Gena Philibert Ortega                Tom Pincince
Theresa White                Tim Lonis
Mark Brzys                Mary Fraser
Alice Hix                Judy Bethea
Carol Haueter                Bobbie Sims
Marty Guidry                William Hughes
Richard Roof                Edee Scott
Pam Rein                Elaine C. Hebert
Stan Read                Anna Farris
Betty Ware                Cafi Cohen
Gwen Upton                Rick Norman
Fred Stuart                Emily Wise
Ruth Jenkins                Kitty Huddleston
Dale Niesen               Betsey Scott
Dee Dee King                Vicki Hilb
Phyllis Barratia                 Rick Mackinney
Mike Pfister                Debbie Wesley
June Evans                Kelly Fetherlin
Chuck Nienhaus                Bill Burrows
Delores Martin                Jim Kiser

If we have omitted your name, please let me know.  It was unintentional.
Tomb of the Army of Tennessee. Statue atop is
General Albert Sidney Johnston. who was once interred
here. The Tomb consist of 48 vaults, the most famous
resident being General P.G.T. Beauregard. See also
In 2003, Metairie Cemetery was named by as one of the ten best
cemeteries due to its unique historical significance and beauty. It is the final resting
place of numerous famous and revered people, including nine governors of the state of
Louisiana; seven mayors of New Orleans; and three Confederate generals. Jefferson
Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America, was entombed here
temporarily after his death in New Orleans in 1889.

Charles T. Howard, a "new money" wealthy gentleman from Baltimore was a big
mover in the New Orleans area in the latter part of the 1800's. After fighting for the
Confederacy in the Civil War, he helped passed Act 25 of 1868 establishing the
controversial Louisiana Lottery Company. He was also involved in the establishment of
the Fair Grounds and the Louisiana Jockey Club.
According to a story well known in
New Orleans, Howard was refused
admission to the Metairie Racing Club
and in revenge, he purchased the track
grounds and converted it into a
cemetery. The great oval of the old
racetrack can still be seen as part of
the cemetery roadway system. Some
local historians accept the story, others
say that the race grounds were sold
due to financial stress. Other sources
state that he was not responsible for
changing the Track into a cemetery
and that economic circumstances were
the primary cause. (Perhaps he
bragged about its demise about being
refused membership? )Either way, the
cemetery was opened here in 1872.
Howard died in 1885 when he fell
from a horse at his vacation home. His
tomb is prominently placed in the

A few tombs predating the foundation
of this cemetery can be found here;
Beautiful Metairie Cemetery 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
people and the home to breathtaking
aboveground family mausoleums, tombs and
monuments. These magnificent memorials, made
of marble, granite and brick, testify to the dignity
and significance of all those who are buried there.
One of the Most Interesting People Buried in Metairie Cemetery
P.B.S. Pinchback
Cemetery Map
More Links for Further Information Related to Metairie Cemetery
News about Metairie Cemetery and Hurricane Katrina

Find a Grave in Metairie Cemetery

Louisiana Digital Library Photos of Metairie Cemetery

Pictures of Unusual Sculptures and Tombs in Metairie Cemetery

Famous 1854 Horse Race between Lecomte and Lexington at Metairie Racetrack
Egyptian Style
Angel Tomb
Centotaph of
Murdered Police
Chief Hennessy
Tomb of the Army
of N. Virginia
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