Backyard Cemetery


Watching too many episodes of If Walls Could Talk has caused me to become increasingly interested in family/local histories and as a result, I tend to research local family/building history even if I am not at all tied to either.

With that being said, its funny to me that for the past 4 months I have been living about 2 blocks and 1 minute away from the oldest known graveyard in Baton Rouge, which happens to be the resting place of many of the first families and plantation owners in Baton Rouge. These are the people a lot of the streets in the city seem to be named after (as I just found out today).

I was on my way home this afternoon, going down a street I go down very often, and happened to glance to my left, just as Ryan was. We both had to do a double take noticing some gravestones. I never walk down this street, so perhaps that is why it has gone unnoticed for the past few months.

My favorite street in this city is Highland Road. It has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. I feel so lucky every day that I have been able to live right off Highland Road this year and therefore, get to see it every day. This cemetery explains the history of this road, the area, and really is the heart of Highland Road and its earliest families. It truly made my day to stumble upon all this information.

My camera battery ran out after the first 5 minutes I was there, so I need to go back...b/c there are some beautiful spaces and stories there.

Here are just a few of the images, some info and links:

"Highlanders were being buried on George Garig's plantation as early as 1813.
In 1819 Garig deeded the burial ground to the Catholic congregation of Baton
Rouge, and it became the official burial ground of the families of the highlands.

Robert Penny owned the plantation from 1837 to 1849 and added his own
family cemetery. It was enlarged by later plantation owners even further.
Its last burial was in 1939. Urbanization of the surrounding area led to the
decline of the cemetery, the loss of many graves and markers and shrunken

Its restoration in 1968-1978 is a tribute to its historical
value." More history on this can be found HERE


This is the family cemetery of plantation owner Robert Penny, who is mentioned in the paragraph above:





The owners of Magnolia Mound Plantation and Mount Hope Plantation, which is a couple minutes from my house, are buried at Highland Cemetery.

There is a beautiful poem on a plaque there, written by Josephine Favrot. I have to go take a picture of it. A lot of stories are there, with many being mysterious and/or unfortunate. This is a snippet of one of my favorites:

"...Lieutenant Luis Antionio de Grand Pre was engaged to marry Josephine, eldest daughter of Don Pedro Favrot, now residing in West Baton Rouge. The night that the West Florida rebels seized the Baton Rouge fort in 1810, Luis was in command and was mortally wounded in defending his post.

Sensitive to the unmerited dishonor brought upon his father, he did what his
sense of honor demanded at that crucial time. The "rebels" regretted the
unfortunate death of the young officer and buried him with military honors.

Josephine was grief stricken and never married. But this was not her only
grief. In 1822 her brother, Philogene, judge of West Baton Rouge Parish, was
slain in a duel fought with sabres. In poetry she expressed her musings about
life and death. That poem is on a plaque in the cemetery close to the spot
where she is buried near her brother."

Hopefully I will have time to go back in the next few days to take more pictures and read more stories.


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