Join the authors of Historic Magnolia Cemetery, Faye Phillips and Chip Landry, for a look into their new book, part of the Images of America series.
Since 1719, soldiers and white explorers had been buried near Native American mounds. Around 1763, British troops officially gained control of Baton Rouge and established a small fort on the Mississippi River. The downtown cemeteries, including the military cemetery near the fort, which accommodated Protestants, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Cemetery, and Highland Cemetery, had overflowed by 1850. A municipal, nondenominational cemetery was critically needed. Land on the eastern edge of town, dotted with magnolia trees, was purchased by the government, and Magnolia Cemetery easily became its name. Families of all races, religious affiliations, and economic status rest in Magnolia, including Confederate and Union soldiers who died there on August 5, 1862 at the Battle of Baton Rouge. Historic Magnolia Cemetery’s subterranean graves are accentuated by plain or elaborate headstones or simple footstones, sarcophagi, and numerous statues.
Faye Phillips is a LSU library consultant and professor emerita at LSU Libraries. Chip Landry is chairman of the Board of Trustees of Historic Magnolia Cemetery and the sexton of Historic St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
Refreshments at 6 pm, compliments of Calandro's; lecture begins at 6:30 pm