Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Graveyard Shoot

The first graveyard I visited is called Cypress Grove. It is very simple to get to. Peach and I took the street car all the way down to the last stop and there it and a few others were. It was the only one open at the time. Let me tell you, these graveyards are nothing like Minnesota's graveyards! The 'Cities of the Dead' mimic the small skinny houses in neighborhoods of New Orleans because of the house like tombs and even street names. They are massive, so I am guessing that is the reason for the street signs inside the graveyards. The tombs and burial sites are above ground because of the high water table. If they dug too deep, the caskets would actually float and/or come back up above ground. They used to try and put heavy stones over them, but during any flooding they would just pop back up out of the ground. Most recently this had occurred during Katrina. The damage to some of the tombs is still very evident. Also, the majority of tombs are filled with numerous family members. Sometimes, if it is a small singular tomb, made for one person, multiple family members can still be put into that same tomb. This can only be done if the previously deceased person had been dead for at least two years. Then their remains are put into a special burial bag and put to the side of the inside of the tomb while the newly deceased person replaces their spot. If the two year rule can't be met, the graveyards have temporary holding vaults.

Unfortunately, my first graveyard visit was cut short due to closing hours. But, I will be returning to shoot more this next week. I will also be shooting at several graveyards across the streets from this one, and at the most popular Saint Louis No. 1 and Lafayette No. 1 graveyards as well during the week.

These are a few favorites from Cypress Grove Cemetery

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