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Monday, August 20, 2012

My View of Saint Patrick's Cemetery Number 2

"They told me to take a streetcar named Desire and then transfer to one called Cemeteries...”--Tennessee Williams.
  At the foot of Canal Street, where it terminates at City Park Avenue, you'll find fourteen cemeteries clustered around this neighborhood. One of them, lying within the acute angle created by these two thoroughfares, is Saint Patrick's Cemetery Number Two.  The Saint Patrick Cemeteries were built by the Irish community.  Number Two was built in 1841.    

  Though this cemetery is not surrounded by wall vaults, this society tomb, dedicated to St. Bridget, resembles one on the boundary separating the cemetery from the smaller Odd Fellows Rest cemetery.

  Iron is a common material found within Saint Patrick's Number Two, though this is uncommon in most New Orleans' cemeteries.  These were usually painted white, but time and the constant humidity will not allow them to remain so.

  Here is a plot whose original iron fence still stands, though the crypt, or coping walls, have been removed, probably due to extreme decay.

  A detail of a crypt.  The depiction of Christ on the cross, with a mourner at his feet, is not uncommon, though the trees that surround it caught my attention.

  There are more coping tombs (where the body is buried in soil that is raised and protected by a cement wall, as seen on the right side of this picture) than the traditional brick and plaster crypts.  Here is a modest crypt with a particularly sweet statue of a mourning woman above the stele.

  A fairly well preserved relief of Jesus or an angel.  There are no markings to indicate which one it might be.

  As I mentioned at the beginning, Canal Street runs beside one end of Saint Patrick's Number Two.  And there is no crypt wall, just a short, iron fence.  Though Streetcar service was discontinued to this point many years ago, it once again reaches to the foot of Canal Street.  If you are ever in New Orleans, take that streetcar named Cemeteries for a trip to the Cities of the Dead.


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