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Carrollton Cemetery- New Orleans only segregated graveyard

Updated on January 23, 2016
This cemetery is small enough to visit on foot.
This cemetery is small enough to visit on foot.

Hours and Info

Location: 1701 Hillary Street

Hours: M-F 8:00am - 2:30pm

Saturday: 8:00am - noon

Sunday & Holidays: closed

Maintained by: City of New Orleans (504.658.3781)

Established: 1849


*All photos were taken by and are the property of the author*

Carrollton Cemetery History

When the cemetery was founded in 1849, Carrollton was its own township and not the New Orleans city neighborhood that it is today. Having a burial ground to could their own was a cause for celebration and pride- families had their dead exhumed and reburied in their new, local graveyard. Beautification projects sprung up - trees and flowers were planted while the oldest local families claimed their plots and made plans for tombs their descendants would be able to use for generations to come.

The first plot was sold on November 8, 1849 for $15.

In New Orleans it was traditional to bury all Catholics in the same holy ground, regardless of color or nationality but the suburb of Carrollton adhered to the more American view. They designated the majority of the site for whites, a portion for people of color.

The spot the town chose was quite high by local standards- it was actually possible to bury below ground. Most families chose to build traditional tombs, but the working minorities couldn't afford that expense, so their area turned into a potter's field. Their loved ones were interred in the ground and memorialized with personal, hand made markers on ground that was used over and over through the years.

A pauper's grave
A pauper's grave
Collapsed tomb roofs with angels above
Collapsed tomb roofs with angels above
An angel kneels in prayer over the Nix monument
An angel kneels in prayer over the Nix monument

Pauper's Section of Carrollton Cemetery

"the dead...are now wholly neglected and forgotten."

A gloomy day in Carrollton Cemetery
A gloomy day in Carrollton Cemetery
Home made markers
Home made markers
The only society tomb here is "Der Deutsche Freundschaftsbund"- the long disbanded German League of Friendship.
The only society tomb here is "Der Deutsche Freundschaftsbund"- the long disbanded German League of Friendship.
A young girl uses her skirt to carry flowers to the grave of 7 year old "Carrie W." in the Hecker plot.
A young girl uses her skirt to carry flowers to the grave of 7 year old "Carrie W." in the Hecker plot.

Carrollton Cemetery today

The cemetery's heyday was short lived. New Orleans borders expanded rapidly and Carrollton was annexed in 1874. Only two years later historian William Williams said "the dead...are now wholly neglected and forgotten."

As it was in 1876, so it is today: the cemetery is in very poor condition- most families have moved away or died out, and many of the tombs are collapsing in on themselves. The grass is often overgrown and choked with weeds despite the caretaker's office on site. The last time a major improvement project was undertaken here was in 1969, when drainage was improved and the aisles were paved over with cement.

Ironically, it is the pauper's field that is the best cared for- maintained by local families and shown a kind of tenderness that their richer neighbors have long since lost.

Where is it?

A markerCarrollton Cemetery, new orleans -
Carrollton Cemetery, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
get directions

"Our Loved Ones"

This says it all, doesn't it?
This says it all, doesn't it?

Comments or Questions?

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    • PaigePixel profile image
      Author

      Paige 6 days ago from New Orleans, LA

      That's absolutely true, but when the general public thinks of segregation, it's race they consider. Still, I'll make an edit to address that, thank you for the input!

    • profile image

      rob 2 years ago

      st louis #1 is segregated at least through religion isn't there a protestant section

    • PaigePixel profile image
      Author

      Paige 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thank you, Mary! As a new Hubber, it's particularly appreciated!

      Purl, I'm a part of a group in town called Save Our Cemeteries which does its best, but there's so much work to be done and so little money to do it. I'm about to do a hub on one of the worst off cemeteries in town (Odd Fellows Rest), and the amazing things that are being done for it, so there's hope!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      Very interesting. I hope there are plans to preserve this historic site and some of these amazing grave markers. I love the little girl carrying the flowers in her skirt.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I spent two weeks in New Orleans back in the 80's. I really enjoyed the food there! I felt so bad for you folks who live in New Orleans after the hurricane Katrina hit you so hard. For what I read, it seems like you folks are rebuilding OK. I sure hope so.

      I remember the Funeral Procession when I was there, too.

      Voted up, and I'm sharing this.