5050 Canal Street

Click on cross above for Charity Hospital cemetery photo album

Charity Hospital Cemetery was established in 1847. It is is a mass grave for the poor of New Orleans. Thousands of patients without money or relatives have been buried in unmarked graves for almost 150 years. Most of the burials were from the Yellow Fever (68 people to be exact) and Malaria epidemics that ravaged the city. The cemetery is never open and has a large iron fence with “No Trespassing” signs and barbed wire. In 1989, a monument was erected by the Tulane and L.S.U. Medical Schools to thank the people who donated their bodies to science. The cemetery is now closed and bodies that would have gone to the cemetery will now be cremated. The reason for the cemetery closure is because dogs got into the cemetery and dug up body parts, hence the chain-link fence and barbed wire.
The only memorial to the nameless dead is a tall cross erected in 1954 by the Mid-City Kiwanis Club. The club put up the cross, and began what was to be an annual ceremony of scattering flowers across the field after noticing the sad contrast to flower and family filled neighboring cemeteries on All-Saints Day. Charity cemetery sits between St. Patrick No. 1 cemetery and Cypress Grove cemetery and is across the street from St. Patrick No. 2.