A Victorian Folly



The Metarie Cemetery at New Orleans is by most accounts one of the great garden cemeteries in the United States, if such things are rated. The famous, the rich, the infamous, the highly decorated, and the obscure are all buried in this place. Some in modest graves, others in elaborate tombs fit for kings potentates, and even madams!


One of the most interesting monuments was built for Henry J. Egan, a Confederate Lieutenant Colonel, who was killed April 6, 1865, at Amelia Springs, Virginia, during General Robert E. Lee’s retreat. The monument was built to appear like a ramshackle Gothic Revival-style Church. It is a sham. The ruin was designed by Charles A. Orleans, one of the leading monument builders in New Orleans at the time, who was at the height of his fame when it was built in 1881. The Victorian folly, built to look like one thing when it is actually another, is a marble monument complete with mock cracks and crumbling stone to deceive the passerby.

Carved above the arched doorway into the tomb are the words, “Sic itur ad astra” – Latin which translates to “Thus to the stars”.

Goth Gardener, who has an impressive blog pointed, out that this monument actually marks the graves of several Egan family members. Their names have been added to the description of the monument. Goth Gardener also wrote a blog post about the Egan monument in Metarie Cemetery which can be found at this URL: http://goth-gardening.blogspot.com/2015/05/southern-cemetery-faux-ruins.html

(Inscription on the back wall of the church)

In Memory of

Bentinck Egan

Who died Dec. 27, 1881

And his brothers






The Good Sons of

Dr. J. S. Egan and I. M. Yelverton

Mother died 1884

Father died 1891

(on the floor )

Lieutenant Colonel Henry I. Egan

Killed at Amelia Springs, Va.

While in command of

Sharpshooters, Gordon’s Division,

Covering Retreat of Lee’s Army

April 6, 1865, Aged 24 years.

Dr. Yelverton B. Egan

Killed at the Battle of Sharpsburg

September 17, 1863, aged 24 years.


Letitia M. Yelverton Egan

Their mother

Died in London England 1884

Mary Louisa Egan

Only daughter of

James and Letitia Egan

Died Dec. 26, 1920

Buried with them in

Fulham Cemetery, London

Cecilia Maria Egan

Died Jan. 2, 1941

Frederick Egan and his wife

Julia Wilkinson Egan

 (inscription on the back of the building)



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4 Responses to A Victorian Folly

  1. GothGardener says:

    I was just getting ready to post about this. Was fortunate enough to visit last month and will be going again in two weeks 🙂

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