Wednesday Cemetery Blogging - Freemasonry in Metairie Cemetery

Farwell family tomb in Metairie Cemetery. The patriarch, Charles Alphonzo Farwell, was a sugar broker in New Orleans. He was lauded for his efforts to protect the domestic sugar industry when sugar imports from Cuba and Central America were on the rise in the late 19th Century. Biographies of Mr. Farwell mention that he was a member of numerous clubs and civic organizations, including the Boston Club, which is noted as the primary behind-the-scenes organization for the Rex Parade on Mardi Gras. It's interesting, though, that Farwell chose Freemasonry as his lasting public memory, placing the seal of the York Rite Knights Templar on his tomb, as well as the square-and-compass of the Blue Lodge.

Photo of Frawell, posted with his obituary, in 1917.

Detail of the tombstone.


NORTA 2012 on Loyola-UPT

(cross-posted to

NORTA201, a VonDullen streetcar built in 2003, inbound on the Loyola-UPT Line. The Loyola-UPT runs from the Union Passenger Terminal (UPT), at Earhart Blvd and Loyola Ave. It travels inbound on Loyola to Canal Street, where it turns toward the river, to the foot of Canal. There, the line travels along the Riverfront to the French Market Terminal at Esplanade Avenue. The VonDullen streetcars were built initially for the return of the Canal Streetcar line, in 2004. All of the VonDullens received significant damage during Hurricane Katrina, when six-plus feet of water inundated the Canal Barn, behind the A. Phillip Randolph bus facility on Canal Street. The propulsion, trucks, and electronics of the cars were removed, repaired and/or rebuilt, interiors replaced, and the steel bodies given a fresh coat of red paint. They're back, serving Canal and Loyola daily. The VonDullens (named after their lead designer and former head of the NORTA Rail Department, Elmer VonDullen) are patterned after the arch roof design of the 1915 400-series and 1923 800/900 series streetcars acquired by New Orleans Railway and Light Co, and New Orleans Public Service, Inc. (NOPSI). Thirty-five of the 900-series, 1923-vintage arch roofs continue to operate on the St. Charles line.

Market Street Railway...


Market Street Railway's Car No. 1 - from the San Francisco Municipal Railway, 1912. Running on the F-line in San Francisco. Click through on the link for the car's history.

Featured Photo: Claiborne Terminal (present-day configuration)

This is a great photo of the end of the line for the St. Charles Streetcar, at S. Carrollton and S. Claiborne Avenues. When "belt" service on St. Charles and Tulane lines was discontinued in 1951 (Tulane was converted to trackless trolleys that year), St. Charles was configured as point-to-loop operation. This was the point, at the uptown terminus, and the loop was Lee Circle to Carondelet to Canal, then turn back onto St. Charles for the outbound run.

The terminal hasn't changed much in all that time, although the shelter in the middle is only a couple of years old.

The equipment running on St. Charles are the 35 900-series Perley A. Thomas cars that were kept by New Orleans Public Service, Incorporated (NOPSI) in 1964, when the Canal line went to bus service.

Carrollton and Claiborne has particularly fond memories for me, because this is where my daddy taught me how to ride public transit. I was a twelve-year-old, just starting eighth grade at Brother Martin High School in Gentilly. My daddy drove up to Napoleon Avenue and let me out with a token for one ride on the bus. I caught the Claiborne bus on my own to the terminal (buses end their runs on the cross-street from this photo), and picked me up there. Satisfied that I knew how it was done, I was all set to take the bus up to the University of New Orleans from school, where I would catch a ride home with him in the afternoons.


Poem: "Where I'm From" by Charlotte

Where I’m From
A tribute to my crumbling foundation
I am from Hey Mistah, throw me somethin’
Happy Moddy Graw
Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday and
Who got the baby?
I am from Sunday brunch at Arnaud’s
The seawall at the Southern Yacht Club
The Zephyr, the Wild Maus
Crossing parking lots of chalky white sea shells
Barefoot and
The screened-in porch at Sid-Mar’s.
Go read the's well and truly New Orleans.

I'll have a Number 4 with sauce and onions, please...

What a great Glenn DeVillier photo of Bud's Broiler on City Park Avenue. It's a Mid City landmark!

Feature Photo - 1000-series on City Park Avenue

NOPSI 1001, running as SPECIAL on City Park Avenue. This was a training run, to demonstrate the company's proposal for single-man streetcar operation.

The 1000-series arch roof cars were ordered by NOPSI in 1927, ten from Perley A. Thomas, ten from St. Louis Car Company. They were very much an engineering upgrade from the 800- and 900-series cars. The 1000s had four motors, making them faster than the earlier generation arch roofs. They were also a bit wider, making for a more comfortable ride.

NOPSI's original intent was to introduce the 1000s into the system with single-man operation, but city government, with the complete backing of the transit union, would not allow the company to eliminate conductors. Because of this, the 1000s didn't enter service right away when delivered in 1928. Eventually, NOPSI converted the twenty 1000s for two-man (motorman/conductor) operation, and ran them on the St. Claude line from 1935 to 1949. They were scrapped in 1949, when St. Claude was converted to trackless trolley operation.

This photo was shot in front of Delgado Junior College, on City Park Avenue, in Mid City. At the time, the Canal and Esplanade lines ran in "belt" service. The Canal line ran outbound on Canal Street, turned onto City Park Avenue, making its way over to Esplanade Avenue, where it ran inbound to Rampart, then Canal. The Esplanade line ran the opposite, going outbound on Esplanade Avenue to City Park, where it traveled the opposite track to Canal Street for its return run.

New Orleans Military Parade, 1906-1907

Very interesting photo that I came across in one of the streetcar groups on Facebook. It caught the original poster's attention because of the three single-truck streetcars. Then we got to talking about the photo itself, and someone suggested this is a funeral procession. When I zoom in on what might be a hearse, it looks more like a wagon, with a man standing upright in it. So, it's not looking like that.

There are two banners in the photo, of the style used by SA&P clubs and Carnival marching clubs like the Jefferson City Buzzards. The first group of mounted men appear to be in cavalry uniform. The man on the light-colored horse just behind the first streetcar carries a the guidon of a cavalry squadron.

I'm thinking this is some sort of veterans or military-society parade. Perhaps they made a stop at Memorial Hall, perhaps they're just moving off to the side of the street and the sidewalk to keep away from the streetcars.

I'll dig deeper when time permits.

The "Bead Dog" at @HaydelsBakery

It's a Stompah!

Haydel's raffles off the Bead Dogs, and this one goes to the 610 Stompers' charities. Check them out at the bakery's website.

They got a Traditional King Cake up to my son, who is a LTJG in the US Navy, and is up in Portsmouth, NH. Good people.

"Pigeon Town"

My history column for last week was on "Pigeon Town," the part of Uptown New Orleans between S. Carrollton Avenue and the parish line. There are a lot of opinions on how the neighborhood got its name, but I'm still OK with my conclusions in the article. Have a look and let me know what you think:

NOLA History: New Orleans Neighborhood “P-Town”


Streetcar and New Orleans Books!

Legendary Locals of New Orleans
, published by Arcadia is a 128-page treasure trove of people, famous as well as "unsung heroes," whose lives made an impact on the City of New Orleans.Read the back-cover textBuy the book (signed from author, Amazon, B&N, Powells)
NOTE: Accepting PRE-ORDERS! Book release scheduled for 14-Jan-2013

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