The planning of this cemetery began in 1832 in preparation for the creation of Lafayette City, which would later be known as the Garden District. It was laid out in a very formal manner with four quadrants.
There are Magnolia trees for shade and an area for funeral processions in a cross shape, and there were originally very fragrant flowers abundant between the tombs.
The cemetery has been active since 1833 and still has burials occurring. There are about 1,000 tombs and an estimated 7,000 people buried in Lafayette Cemetery No 1. It is a city block in size. The cemetery is also not racially or religiously segregated and over 26 nationalities.
Notable tombs include the Jefferson Fire Co. #22’s society tomb with an ornate fire pump adhered, an Odd Fellows tomb, and the metal tomb that inspired the author Anne Rice when writing the novel Interview with a Vampire. The Open Koneig’s tomb is a favorite for people to peek inside and see the inner workings of a tomb.
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 is the most filmed cemetery in New Orleans.
Of the 99 veterans buried here, 76% are war veterans.
There are 3 Civil War veterans buried at Lafayette Cemetery No. 2.
There is 1 Spanish American War veteran buried at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1.
There are 3 veterans buried at Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 that were involved in multiple wars:
Oscar M Sanderson was in WW1 and WW2.
Bruce Baird Jr was in WW2 and Korea.
Harry T Melling was in WW2 and Korea.
SGT Arthur J Zimmerman was wounded in battle on December 19, 1944 in Belgium. He died from his wounds in France on December 20, 1944.