St. John the Baptist Cemetery

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Marker Name:St. John the Baptist Cemetery (different text on each side)

Marker Dedicated: May 14, 2010

Marker Sponsor: West Baton Rouge Historical Association

Marker Location: Eastern entrance to cemetery

North Side ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CEMETERY West Baton Rouge conveyance records reveal that on June 28, 1833, Jean Baptiste Hebert donated land for use as a cemetery for the congregation of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. With Hebert’s permission, the tract had already been used as a cemetery. Around 1860, the encroaching river took the original tract. At the church’s expense, Hebert’s remains were moved to the present cemetery. The present cemetery and church are on property acquired from Ambroise Blanchard in 1838.
South Side: ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CATHOLIC CEMETERY (continued from other side) Ancestors of many Brusly and area residents are interred here, as noted by markers and headstones. Also interred here are veterans of military service, dating back to the Civil War. Remains of individuals from the Catholic cemetery in Lobdell were transferred to this site in 1932. According to Heck family members, many of the iron crosses in the cemetery were made by André and Henri Heck, prior to 1921, in their blacksmith shop near this property. A stroll through the cemetery can be compared to walking through the pages of family history.

Background: The West Baton Rouge Historical Society, in 2009, approved funding for a State of Louisiana Historic Marker to recognize St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery. West Baton Rouge Historical Association Officers, Board Members, Association Members, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church congregation members and others gathered to dedicate the marker. Ceremonies were held near the entrance to the cemetery, on the grounds of St. John the Baptist Church.

West Baton Rouge Historical Association President Evva Z. Wilson welcomed those in attendance and presided over the program. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Roy T. Mouch, Sr., St. John the Baptist Cemetery Association President. Reverend Matthew Dupré, Pastor of St. John the Baptist Church shared thoughts about the importance of cemeteries and the very special connection between this cemetery and the Brusly/Addis/Port Allen communities. Arlen Landry, Chairman of the West Baton Rouge Historical Association Historic Preservation Committee, and Frank Foret, President of the Addis Historical Society, and WBR Historical Association Board Member, unveiled the markers. Jim Rills, Chairman of the Town of Brusly Landmark and Heritage Commission, and WBR Historical Association Board Member, read the marker text. Brusly Councilmember Joanne Bourgeois shared memories of two families who no longer have relatives in this area. Those present were invited to share refreshments at Brusly Town Hall.

For more information:
• Brusly 1901 – 2001: A Place to Call Home; edited by Pamela Folse;
• St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Brusly, Louisiana, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, compiled by the West Baton Rouge Genealogy Society, 1990
• Brusly 1901 – 2001: A Place to Call Home; edited by Pamela Folse;
• Chronicles of West Baton Rouge by Elizabeth Kellough and Leona Mayeux, 1979;
• Program dedication May 14, 2010;
• State Historic marker files at West Baton Rouge Museum;
• Reference files at West Baton Rouge Museum and Library; • Conveyance records at WBR Parish Clerk of Court Office;
• Along the River Road, Mary Ann Sternberg, 1996