My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s always fascinating to visit a graveyard with an insider. Mr. Gandalfo had a unique perspective on this New Orleans cemetery: he began working there in 1915. He wrote the first edition of this book in 1981, after collecting up stories, history, and things only an employee would know. It’s wonderful to hear the official explanation of the ghostly red light flashing on Storyville madam Josie Arlington’s tomb and the insider details of the temporary burial of Confederate president Jefferson Davis.
Founded in 1872, Metairie Cemetery is a showpiece of world-class funerary architecture and statuary. Highlights range from the Egan family’s “Ruined Castle” to the Brunswig pyramid, from the grieving bronze Vonderbank niece and nephew to the miscellaneous angels, muses, dogs, sarcophagi, and Civil War monuments. The black-and-white photographs here are adequate, if not especially artful. Even so, they should inspire you to want to see this lovely place for yourself.
The book is 30 years old, so it can be pricey. Still, copies are listed for sale on Amazon: Metairie Cemetery, an historical memoir: Tales of its statesmen, soldiers, and great families
This review was originally published on Gothic.Net.