Monday, November 23, 2015

Old Harvey Cemeteries

Subdivision surveys can help researchers locate historic cemetery sites. The Southeastern Architectural Archive's Guy Seghers Office Records has a considerable number of twentieth-century surveys that document graveyard locations.

The cemetery highlighted above -- in a 1922 Eustis & Bres survey -- was located towards the rear of the Louisiana Cypress Lumber Company's tract along the Harvey Canal in Jefferson Parish. This area was formerly known as the Destrehan Tract, and Joseph Rathborne began to operate a cypress lumber concern here as early as 1889.(1)

By 1940, the Rathborne Land Company was subdividing its massive holdings along the Intracoastal Waterway. The area where the old cemetery had been was redeveloped as a residential section of four- and five-room frame residences. Surveyor Guy Seghers platted the subdivision, noting an existing cemetery along what had been Julia F. Grefer's land (shown below).

This second graveyard is still intact, known as the Evening Star Cemetery [AKA Harvey's cemetery; Harvey cemetery]. Since Hurricane Katrina, it has expanded across Grefer Avenue, absorbing what had formerly been a series of 30' wide residential lots.

Knowing variant geographical names can facilitate the research process. Consulting  GNIS is one means of determining place name changes. For Louisiana, knowing the names of subsequent plantation owners is also beneficial. Marie Adrien Persac's Norman's Chart of the Lower Mississippi River (1858) is one means of determining familial connections, and the United States Mississippi River Commission's Preliminary Map of the Lower Mississippi River: From the Mouth of the Ohio River to the Head of the Passes (1885) is another.

(1)Advertisement. The Times-Picayune 5 July 1948.

Images above: Digitally enhanced detail of Eustis & Bres. LA Cypress Lumber Co. Tract. Survey. 1922. Box 120. Folder 45.

Digitally enhanced detail of Guy J. Seghers. Industrial Subdivision of Property of Joseph Rathborne Land Company, Inc. Harvey, Louisiana. 10 October 1940 with annotated corrections to February 1944. Box 120. Folder 29.

Both Guy Seghers Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

No comments: