16 February 2009

Charles Orleans, Monument Designer

I recently purchased the book, Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents, by Douglas Keister, and I've been enjoying the read.

One of the cemeteries profiled is Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana. Within this article was mention of the Walker Mausoleum. Here is where I learned of Mr. Charles A. Orleans:
Monument designer and contractor Charles A. Orleans (1839 - 1923) came to New Orleans in 1878 following a string of business failures in the building trade in Chicago, New York, and Paris. Almost immediately after his arrival in New Orleans, he turned to the business of building tombs and monuments...By 1894, he claimed in an advertisement that he had erected three-fourths of the principal granite vaults and monuments in New Orleans during the previous sixteen years.
I became interested and searched online, hoping to find more examples of his work. I didn't find much. What is most oftened cited as the work of Mr. Orleans is the fireman's monument in Greenwood Cemetery (New Orleans, Louisiana). Several photos of this monument can be found online. Here is one.

Another monument I found attributed to Charles Orleans is the Pizatti Tomb, also in Metairie Cemetery. A nice photo by teladair is here.

Out of curiosity, I searched for Charles Orleans in the 1880 US Federal Census. I was curious to see his occupation listed. It was listed as architect. In 1900, the occupation was contractor. In 1910 there is no occupation listed, and in 1920 the occupation is none.


I also found Charles Orleans in the 1890 & 1891 New Orleans, Louisiana City Directories. During both years he was a manager for the Hallowell Granite Company. He was also listed as a "granite contractor and designer of monumental and building works."

By the way, Charles Orleans was born in Canada. He immigrated to the United States in 1860, and he became a naturalized citizen in 1907. (Source: 1920 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Federal Census)

I enjoyed learning about Mr. Orleans. I'm sure I'll find more stuff of interest as I continue reading Forever Dixie.

1 comment:

Gene Meier said...

I am writing the first book from the American point of view about 19th century rotunda panoramas.These were the biggest paintings in the world,50 x 400=20,000 square feet,housed in their own rotundas which were 16-sided polygons.Chicago in 1893 had 6 panorama companies and 6 panorama rotundas. I have corporate panorama papers at hand with lists of stockholders:Charles A.Orleans,10 shares @ $100,International Panorama Company(BATTLE OF SEDAN panorama by Louis Braun,imported from Frankfurt, Germany for the World's Industrial & Cotton Centennial Exposition,New Orleans 1884-5);Charles A.Orleans,125 shares @ $12,500, Southern Art Exhibition Company(SIEGE OF PARIS by Felix Philippoteaux, brought from Chicago to New Orleans to replace BATTLE OF SEDAN).I have much info to share.

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