I-10 at St. Louis Street
Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 3 pm
Sunday : 9 am – 12 pm
Holiday Closings Vary
Save our Cemeteries
St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 was established in 1823. It was the fourth cemetery to be constructed in New Orleans. It is three square blocks surrounded by the interstate I-10 and the housing projects. It was an extension to St. Louis No. 1. The city was being ravaged by cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, smallpox, bubonic plague, yellow fever and malaria. The stench of the French Quarter at that time was quit foul because of the chamber pot refuse, dead animals and kitchen slop. However, the residents thought that these odors were caused by evil spirits spread by the deceased. The city planned to open a new cemetery far from the border of the French Quarter to keep these evil spirits away. Creoles and free people of color designed and created the ornate ironwork that is widespread throughout the cemetery.
One of many significant people here is the architect Jacques Nicholas Bussiere de Pouilly buried in 1875. He had great influence on the designs of St. Louis #1 and 2, Girod street Cemetery, Greenwood, and Cypress Grove cemeteries. He designed many extravagant tombs in this cemetery such as the Iberia Society tomb, Plauche tomb and Bouligny tomb to name a few. There is also pirate, Dominique You, who was a lieutenant in the Gulf of Mexico’s largest pirate operation and is said to be Jean Lafitte’s brother. The first mayor of the new American New Orleans, Nicholas Girod was buried here in 1840. Jacques Phillippe Villere, Louisiana’s first native born governor was buried here in 1830.
In 1974 the “Save Our Cemeteries” organization was created to protect the cemetery from being demolished.
St. Louis #2 is located some 3 blocks back from St. Louis #1, bordering Claiborne Avenue. It was consecrated in 1823. A number of notable jazz and rhythm & blues musicians are buried here, including Danny Barker and Ernie K. Doe. Also entombed here is Dominique You, a notorious pirate who assisted in the defense of the city against the British in the Battle of New Orleans. Andre Cailloux, African-American hero of the American Civil War is also buried here.
The cemetery received minor flooding during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and its tombs seemed virtually untouched by the storm when the water went down, aside from the brownish waterline visible on all structures that were flooded.
There are also many notable citizens of 19th and 20th century New Orleans laid to rest here. For example the tomb of Blessed Mother Henriette DeLille, who is a candidate for sainthood by the Catholic Church, Jean Baptiste Dupeire (1795-1874) prominent citizen of New Orleans, among others.
It was listed in National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
St Louis #2 is the younger, but larger brother of St. Louis #1. The cemetery spans three blocks on the I-10 side of the housing projects (which appear to be quite nice: They are built of brick with copper awnings and sit on green manicured lawns). As we approached the entrance a woman who was waiting for the bus said that we are safe because we are by her work, but not to leave anything out for the “motherfuckers” to get. I had heard that this cemetery can get quite dicey and the sign at the entrance reminded us all to be careful. That being said, the only people we came across inside were long dead. St. Louis #2 is essentially a bunch of crypts and oven tombs surrounded by dirt, mud and grass. Some of the graves are very remarkable and well worth investigating.