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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Visiting Oakland Cemetery was the highlight of my morning

The Cemetery I was most excited to go photograph was the Oakland Cemetery by downtown Shreveport.   When it was began, however, it was on the edge of town.  It's located between Milam and Sprague streets near the Municiple Auditorium.

Many notable people are buried at Oakland...the first burial occured in 1840.  It's 10 acres in size.   It is the resting place for 16 past Shreveport Mayors.  85% of the burials predate 1900.   

There are some beautiful ornate monuments at Oakland Cemetery.

                          There is a mass grave of victims of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1873.
This is the resting place of Annie McCune.     She was known as the "Shreveport Madam".   She was a leading madam in Shreveport's Red Light District when prostitution was legal.    She was also an advocate for women's rights.    

There are multiple families in some of the "family" plots because of the yellow fever of 1873.  There was no time for planning.  

Other notable people laid to rest at Oakland are Sam Levy (co founder of KCS and of Charity Hospital (LSU), Mary Cane, Alfonse Smith (Shreveport's first black physician), many war veterans (over 300 of which are civil war veterans)   There is also a Jewish section (recently some of those headstones were broken). 

It's a beautiful cemetery that overlooks the progress of Downtown Shreveport.  
There are safety issues while there however... homeless shelters down the street and it is located deep in the ghetto.    I took my husband along and we went at 8am and back at 10am and there was alot of walking traffic around the cemetery.    In one crypt there was a hot plate (either for cooking meth or beans... or maybe both).  But otherwise no trash or debris throughout the cemetery grounds.    If you decide to go check it out though... be cauitous and do not venture down there without a big strong handsome man to protect you.   And no..  you can't borrow mine.  Ha!

There is a preservation society for Oakland Cemetery:

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