Facebook Page
New Orleans Street Cars, Chalmette Cemetery

Adventurers in New England

Chapter Twenty-Six

 New Orleans Street Cars, Chalmette National Cemetery, Mardi Gras Fountain 

New Orleans, LA


Robin Bowers

July 3, 2015


Text and Photos by Author
The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments are appreciated at...

Big Easy

Day One

    After a good night's rest, I was ready to start my first day in New Orleans. Among the first things to do was to find the breakfast buffet, a featured amenity here at the Maison St. Charles Hotel and Suites. And what a fine buffet it was. As usual at these buffets the waffle station was busy with a line most of the time. You would think they were giving them away.  Oh wait, they are doing that. Of all the hotel buffets we have encountered these past three weeks, this is near the tops. Biscuits and gravy, eggs, hash browns, cold cereal, yogurt plus more. The South and especially New Orleans take their food seriously, and I had a good big breakfast to get me prepared for a day of touring and sightseeing. Mom always preached that you need to start your day with a breakfast. The buffet was in a room that had a clubhouse feel and overlooked the pool area and was a quite popular place. Everyone was brisk in getting their food, eating and getting out and on with their day.  


Pool area on the left and building on right is buffet location.


Mural on side of hotel building next to driveway.


    White building on right is my hotel for this Fourth of July weekend. Maison St. Charles Hotel & Suites, 1319 St Charles Ave. The streetcar stop is at the front door and that was one of the reasons for choosing this hotel. Chris recommend this hotel as it was close to the Amtrak station with a convenient street car stop in front.

    When I was planning this visit and when I told my cousin, who lives in New Orleans, there were several things I wanted to do while here. Among which was to ride the streetcars here, visit the cemetery where my great grandfather and civil war solider is buried, tour the garden district, and have a steaming Cafe' Au Lait and beignets at Cafe' Du Monde in the historic French Quarter.


    I walked across St. Charles Ave to the streetcar stop and bought a one day Jazzy pass for $3.00. My first ride was on 954 to Canal Street and return then going to the other end of the St. Charles Line.


    St. Charles Avenue Streetcar can be boarded at stops along St. Charles Ave. and from the main boarding location at jct. Carondelet and Canal Sts. The oldest continuously running street railway, the streetcar is now part of the municipal transit system. The line itself was built in 1835 to connect New Orleans with the city of Carrollton; 35 olive-green trolley cars date 1923-24.


    The 13-mile line runs between Canal Street (near the French Quarter) along St. Charles Avenue to its junction with Carrollton and Claiborme Avenues with  stops every 2 blocks. It passes the Garden District, the campuses of Tulane and Loyola universities and Audubon Park.


    When the streetcar reaches the end of the line (junction of Canal Street and St. Charles Ave or junction of Carrollton and Claiborne Avenues), passengers must exit the car, re-board and pay an additional fare for the return trip; transfers cannot be used; the full fare must be paid for each re-boarding.



    Shortly after boarding, the streetcar headed north on St. Charles towards Canal St. After going under Bus US 90, we circle around Lee Monument and head towards Carondelet St which is one way going to Canal St. After crossing Canal St., Carondelet St. becomes Bourbon St. in the French Quarter. St. Charles is one way coming from Canal St. and is Royal St. in the French Quarter


Lee Circle.


Our streetcar on Canal St.


On Canal St with the French Quarter on left.


Corner of St. Charles Ave. and Canal St. looking toward the Mississippi River.


Leaving Canal St. we are back on St. Charles Ave. going around Lee Circle, then the hotel and pass the garden district. At this point we have to take a bus bridge around construction of a flood control project that required the removal of the tracks.

Local lingo - Neutral Ground, the grassy median separating street lanes.


A nice view while waiting at the bus bridge junction.




We board 914 to take us to the end of line.


End of line at junction of Carrollton and Claiborne Avenues.


Car 945 waiting to return to the bus bridge.


Waiting to board at end of line.


Inside car 914.


The Carrollton Ave. district neutral ground.


On St. Charles Ave.




Behind the Loyola campus is the Tulane campus.


Nice home for rent on St. Charles Ave. in the Garden District.

I had now arrived at my starting point, back at the hotel streetcar stop. I had completed the entire St. Charles Line. Across St. Charles and next to the stop was Emeril's.


Emeril's Delmonico Restaurant, 1300 St. Charles Ave.
    This Garden District eatery is the celebrity chef's vision of a New Orleans steakhouse. The service and atmosphere are refined, yet casual and unpretentious. Housed in a restored two-story building on the streetcar line, the eatery has high ceilings, upholstered walls, hardwood floors, and a small lounge with live piano on weekend nights. The menu focuses on steak, but there also are other creative options like rabbit crepes, Moroccan spiced lamb sirloin and a large charcuterie selection.

Chalmette National Cemetery


    After returning to my room, I talked to my cousin, Dawn, who said she would be by in an hour or so to take me to the cemetery which I very much appreciated because there was no public transportation out there. After her arrival we chatted a bit and then she noticed the Popeye's next door and said an order of beans and biscuits sounded really good about then. We walked in and she ordered and I had the same. After our snack, we drove to the cemetery going through districts hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. Many areas had construction and torn up streets. Some were a result of new work and some from Katrina.


    Chalmette National Cemetery
    Established in May 1864 as a final resting place for Union soldiers who died in Louisiana during the Civil War, the cemetery also contains the remains of veterans of the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam. Four Americans who fought in the War of 1812 are buried here, but only one of them fought in the Battle of New Orleans.


Standing at Levi Saunders grave looking towards the Mississippi River.

    In Springfield, Ohio on August 20, 1861, 45 year old Levi Saunders enlisted in the Sixteenth Independent Battery Ohio Volunteer Light Artillery to serve three years. Joining up at 47 yr old made him almost twice the age of the other recruits and the fact he had a wife and four children; I suspect the reason to sign up was for the wages. His daughter Sarah became the mother of my grandmother: My Dad's Mom. So he was the grandfather of my grandmother.

    Private Saunders saw service in Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi. He was at the Siege of Vicksburg. MS, May 18-July 4, 1863. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22 with General Grant. Advanced on Jackson, MS, July 5-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Ordered to New Orleans, LA, August 21 and on duty there till he succumbed to tetanus on Oct 26, 1863, Aged 47. His was buried in Carrollton Ave Cemetery, LA.  His passing was very painful and hard according to witness. The battery lost during service 1 Officer and 1 Enlisted man killed and 45 Enlisted men by disease. Total 47.

    Being a direct descendant of Private Saunders who served in the War of the Rebellion, I was qualified to become a member of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. But I first was elected a member through my great grandfather, my grandmother's father who first enlisted at 16 years of age as musician, got shot and returned home and then enlisted three more times, for enlistment bonuses I am sure. And his ancestor, George McCreary, born 1752 in County Armagh, Province of Ulster, Ireland. Enlisted as Private in Pa Mil York Co., May 1, 1776, joined the "Flying Camp" at Elizabeth NJ. He served under General George Washington and took part in the battle of Fort Washington, NY, 1776 and was captured and held prisoner on British Man-of-war for 2 months in New York City harbor. After which he was paroled, if he would return home in York Co. PA. I also have an other patriot grandfather who enlisted from New Jersey. With these patriots I was able to join the Sons of the American Revolution.

Cousin Dawn had done her reconnoiter work well and knew the section 86, grave 7080 location. Poor grandpa, they misspelled his name on his stone and also have his date of death wrong in cemetery records. Don't think they care to correct their mistakes either.


Author at grandfather's grave.
GPS: 29 56.427N  89 59.295W.


Looking past the National Cemetery and over the Chalmette Battlefield with Chalmette Monument on the right and Malus-Beauregard House on left.


    We were standing at the grave site when the Park Ranger came by and told us the cemetery was now closed for the day. We drove back to downtown New Orleans while Dawn gave a narration of sights along the way. We saw the new University Medical Center New Orleans, built with $1.1 billion of federal, state and private rebuilding money. In addition to the UMC campus, a new adjacent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital is slated to open next year. With a price tag at $2 billion, the hospital corridor is one of the largest public works projects undertaken during the reconstruction from Katrina.


 Joy Theater.
This 1940's movie palace has been revamped as a multi-use facility for musical, comedy and theatrical production.


Near Lee Circle we got out of the car and walked around to look at the museums in this area. Also nearby is the National WWII Museum which I hear is a great visit.





From here we drove over to the Garden District where she showed me the school her daughters had attended and then we stopped at this house.



Payne Strachan House  1134 First St.
    The President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, died in this house in December, 1889. He had been traveling to New Orleans to give a lecture and became ill. He was brought to this house owned by Judge Charles Fenner and promptly died. When you look up, notice the sky blue ceiling of the porch gallery. The color is believed to keep winged insects from nesting there and to ward off evil spirits. Many Garden District homes adhere to this tradition.It is called Haint Paint.


After this stop we went to her home going through City Park stopping to take some photos of the tress and the moss.



Arriving at her house, John, her husband was going to get the barbecue ready, so Dawn and I walked around her corner to Lakeshore Drive and Lake Pontchartrain.


From here we headed to the Mardi Gras Fountain.

Flood control work on the Orleans Canal.


Lake Pontchartrain Causeway seen faintly in background.



GPS 30 01.690N  90 05.969W


Mardi Gras traditional colors are green, purple and gold.



Dawn's husband has been a member of this krewe for many years.




Leaving the lake we walked back to her house as she pointed out Pete Fountain's house, a few doors down from her. After dinner Dawn drove me back to my hotel and I turned in after a busy first day in the Big Easy.

Tomorrow: Big Easy Day Two.
Walking tour of the Garden District, Lafayette Cemetery No.1 and Chalmette Battlefield.

Go to the next Chapter - Twenty - seven

Return to last Chapter - Twenty-five - Day on the Crescent

Robin's trips

Home Page

Very Fast Return to Top
Thanks for reading.

Text and Photos by Author

The author retains all rights. No reproductions are allowed without the author's consent.

Comments are appreciated at...