Odd Fellows Rest

Over holidays we spent a few days in New Orleans, eating some creole food, fresh oysters and walk around the city. I have heard that cemeteries in New Orleans are tourist destinations so we decided to check it out. They are spread around the city with some large cemeteries at the end of Canal street. Those were well taken care, with large roads in the middle, no ruble, no overgrows.

I took this photo from behind the gate, as the gate was chained and it appears that it is not open to the general public, but what first took my attention and made me walk and look through the gate is name above the gate into this small section of the cemetery – “Odd Fellows Rest”. Kind of unique name. I imagined that in order to qualify to rest in this wall, they have to provide some type of prove of being odd. Which is probably not that hard for most people, most of us are odd in some way.

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Lafayette Cemetery

The following few photos were taken at the Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District. I was not sure what to expect when we went there, but I was a bit surprised on how run down it was. Maybe due to the fact that it does not have the fence around it at the moment, or maybe everyone who is laying there does not have any living folks who would take care of it.

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If you are into bones or like to see skeletons then all you have to do is to take a peak into that black hole. It is all there, could be more than 100 years old, almost prehistoric type of stuff. Lafayette cemetery had a lot of these holes. Very unique type of cemetery.

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This part of the cemetery is actually fenced in and in much better shape.

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20 thoughts on “Odd Fellows Rest

  1. From Wikipedia: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a global altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the British Oddfellows service organizations of the 17th century.[1] There are a number of explanations of the origin of the name – for example:
    In 17th century England, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called “Odd Fellows”.[1]
    The Order is also known as “The Three Link Fraternity”, referring to the Order’s “Triple Links” logo – three links contain the letters F, L and T, (Friendship, Love and Truth).[1]
    The word “Independent” in the organization’s name was given by the English parent organization as part of the chartered title of the new North American chapter:
    The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.[1]

    Your photos are lovely and very evocative.

  2. The Odd Fellows are an old fraternal organization that cares for orphans and widows. They probably paid for the funerals and graves of all who are interned there. They are still around (at least in California).

  3. They’re still around in the UK too, but the Welfare State and a wider range of commercial insurance schemes, plus organisations like Age Concern who offer a pay-for-it-now funeral service, have taken away much of what used to be their rationale.

  4. I live in New Orleans. I live around the corner from Lafayette No. 1. I photograph cemeteries from time to time. The reason the oldest cemeteries (many are over 200 years old) are such in such ill repair is that they are maintained by the families who have members buried there. Many of those old line families are long gone, others cannot afford the repairs and maintenance. The Catholic church does get involved from time to time.Usually at St. Louis No’s 1, 2 &3. But cemetery maintenance is low on their priority list. There is a volunteer group call Save Our Cemeteries that does what they can, but they depend on donations and such. The cemeteries at the end of Canal Street are much newer and are maintained by two parishes — Jefferson and Orleans. In case you didn’t notice while you were visiting, a big portion of the city is pretty run down. We didn’t get one of our nicknames — “The City that Care Forgot,” for nothing.

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