Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 & Manners

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1

On Saturday, I took the Save Our Cemeteries tour of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.

I may be the only one, but I liked it a lot more than St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 in the Quarter.

There were no names at this one that I recognized, but Lafayette Cemetery is where most of the movies after 1960 were filmed, like Interview with the Vampire and Double Jeopardy.

Facts that I learned: the way family tombs work. They put one person in a wooden coffin into the tomb for a year and a day. Then, they are taken out of the coffin and their remains are pushed to the back of the tomb to make room for the next person’s coffin who dies. Also, the flatter tombs are those of Protestants or Jewish people. Jewish people especially have to be buried in the ground, but since the water table is so high they raised the ground in order to bury them. Another interesting fact: when Double Jeopardy was filmed, they built a fake tomb right in the middle of this cemetery – I always wondered how they were allowed to break into someone’s tomb!

I also would have loved the tour guide – who actually had a family tomb in the cemetery – except that she did not know how to reign people in and shut them up when they were acting inappropriate. Not that adult people should need to be told how to act appropriately.

Long story short: it was a tour, not a forum on how to fix all New Orleans cemeteries and yes, it is rude to liken the burial practices in New Orleans to recycling old tennis shoes right after the guide said her relatives were buried there.

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1 Comment

Filed under New Orleans

One response to “Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 & Manners

  1. That’s so funny, Michelle. I’ve run into many people who’ve said many strange, borderline rude things, but never a comparison to shoes. Shoes? Who recycles shoes anyway?? lol…

    But as I go deeper into the Graveyard Rabbits thing, I’ve been volunteering to help lost looking tourists and you just never know what you’re going to get. Yesterday I popped into this very cemetery to find three women about to drink from the grounds keeper’s pipe! “No, no no! Not potable, ladies, and not a great call on your part- no hats, no sunscreen, no water, and having already enjoyed a few dehydrating boozy beverages at lunch…”

    I’m going to have to start bringing extra water bottles and copies of my posts explaining the cemeteries, methinks. 🙂

    Great post tho, and glad you took the SOC tour… Grey Line and the vampire people do them too, and although I’m sure they’ve gotten a lot more practice at getting people to behave, you’ll get a lot less info from GL and a lot more BS from the vamps. lol

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