Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Old Marrero Cemeteries

Continuing on yesterday's theme regarding placing and dating historic cemeteries in southeastern Louisiana. . .

Civil engineer (c.e.) James Webb platted the so-called Robinson Avenue Subdivision in early 1921. He based his map on two existing plans, one that c.e. H.L. Zander developed in 1915 (reproduced above as "Exhibit A"); and one that J.W.T. Stephens created in 1919. For surveyors, crediting earlier surveys is an important part of the process: the quality of a new plat depends on the accuracy of its sources.

Zander had attempted to establish the Arpent Tract between the Southern Pacific Railroad and the new Amesville Highway.(1) Identifying the cross-axial artery as "Robinson Lane," Zander referenced the former land holdings of the Robinsons and the Dennises. He also measured two historic cemeteries, one he referred to generically and the other he identified as the St. Joseph Cemetery.

Both cemeteries appear on the Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlas of 1937, which I manipulated below. "A" is the St. Joseph Cemetery and "B" is the unnamed one.

St. Joseph Cemetery is still extant (333 Robinson Avenue) and has been expanded towards its originating worship space. Its historic neighbor is now a near-empty lot.

(1)This later became part of the Jefferson Highway, and today is referred to as Fourth Street.

Images above: Digitally enhanced detail of James Webb, c.e.. Robinson Avenue Subdivision. New Orleans: 5 May 1921. Blue line copy, from Guy Seghers Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries. Box 119. Folder 30.

Digitally altered detail of Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlas. Volume 7 [true 11]. Sheet 1119. New York: 1937. As viewed via Digital Sanborn Maps Database, available at Tulane University Libraries.

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