A Story of Love & Revenge: Metairie Cemetery’s Tallest Monument Snubs Rich Snobs

The tallest private monument in the New Orleans area stands tall in Metairie Cemetery.

“Metairie Cemetery has been named one of the ‘Top 10 Most Interesting Cemeteries in the World’ by Forbes.com.”

Metairie Cemetery is an interesting place with a renowned reputation.  One aspect which makes it so unique is the fact that there’s an 80 foot monument, the Moriarty Monument which stands tall in the cemetery.

Community Outreach Director for Metairie Cemetery, Gerard Schoen, said the Moriarty Monument is much more than a tall grave site.  It has amazing tale.

“A poor Irish immigrant named Daniel A. Moriarty moved to New Orleans.  He ended up meeting a lady, who was older than him named Mary Farrell, who he fell in love with.  He and his wife started a very successful business in the Red light district of New Orleans.  They took the money they earned from their business and invested it in real estate.  They became quite wealthy.  Moriarty wanted to enter New Orleans’ upper society, but that wasn’t going to happen because the upper society snubbed Daniel and his wife because they didn’t have New Orleans blood.  That always irked Daniel.  Daniel’s wife, Mary died in 1887 and by 1905, Daniel wanted to honor his wife in a way that would really show everyone, so he had the Moriarty Monument built,”  Schoen said.

“The reason Daniel wanted his property to be the tallest was so his wife could look down and snub every “blue blood” in the Cemetery for all eternity.  Daniel certainly accomplished what he wanted to do,”  he said.

This granite monument has four statues which represent faith, hope, charity, and memory.  At first many felt the fourth statue represented, Mrs. Moriarty herself, but in actuality it represents memory.

Along side his wife, Daniel and his father are both buried on the site.

“It’s a really neat story to tell here at the cemetery,”  Schoen said.

Metairie Cemetery is the burial ground for 9 Louisiana Governors, 10 New Orleans Mayors, and even famous singer, Louis Prima.

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