Wednesday, May 6, 2015

... Southern cemetery faux ruins...

Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.
~ Jim Rohn

When I visited Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans in April, there was just so much to take in. One of my favorite moments was stumbling upon the “ruined castle” Egan family tomb. I’m pretty sure that I gasped when I saw it. The castle is actually the monument of  two young sons who were killed during the Civil War. The caskets are underneath the castle which was designed to resemble the ruined chapel on the family estates in Ireland. Egan was a Lieutenant Colonel for the Confederate army. He was killed on April 6, 1865.
A large ledger stone includes the inscriptions of the two sons who died during the Civil War.

“Lieutenant Colonel HENRY I. EGAN
Killed at Amelia Springs, Va.
While in command of
Sharpshooters, Gordon’s Division,
Covering Retreat of Lee’s Army
April 6, 1865. Aged 24 years.

Dr. Yelverton B. Egan
Killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam)
September 17, 1863. Aged 24 years.’

Above the entrance to the crypt is the motto ‘Sic itur ad astra’ – (Thus to the stars).

The castle with Gothic architecture was intended to resemble a ruin with cracks and broken marble actually carved in to appear damaged. While I’m not sure what year the Egen castle was built, it reminds me very much of the original entrance of Hollywood Cemetery.

Original entrance now serves as a parking spot for visitors

Built in the romantic style, this original entrance on Cherry Street was intended to look like a ruin. 
Here you’ll notice the many native holly trees from where the cemetery acquired its name. Hollies are evergreen so in all seasons there is greenery at this entrance.  
If you look carefully, you’ll notice that the pattern of the stones change slightly.  Marion Dimock’s expansion of the tower in 1898 gave the structure its present appearance.


  1. I could sit here all day and listen to your cemetery stories!

  2. That's absolutely gorgeous! I want one of those... And I found this on Google, which appears to be the entire text, including the back side of the monument:

    1. Lucretia, thank you! That's amazing!

      There are so many amazing monuments at Metairie that it really is hard to stand out. The castle stands out!

  3. Wow, I've never seen anything like it!