Opened in 1919, Forest Park is one of Louisiana's premiere cemeteries, with almost 40,000 residents resting in its 134 acres.
Landscape architect Charles W. Hughes and Dr. Henry H. Nichols were the founders of Forest Park Cemetery on St. Vincent Avenue. However, the property became insolvent during the Great Depression. Recognizing the need for a cemetery of substantial size to serve Shreveport's booming population, William C. Rasberry, a local business leader, purchased the cemetery. Rasberry sold his holdings to the Canadian cemetery concern Loewen Group in 1994. Loewen, in turn, sold Forest Park East and its sibling property Forest Park West to Pennsylvania-based Letum Care, Inc., owned by Robert Lomison, in 2001. The vision from Hughes and Nichols to Rasberry to Lomison was to create surroundings that balanced nature with the environment, allowing a presence of civilization without disturbing the grandeur of the sylvan setting.
From its first burial, of 14-year-old Frederick Lanier Boanno in April 1919, Forest Park was designed to serve both the dead and the living. It is the burial site of nine Shreveport mayors, U.S. Rep. Overton Brooks, U.S. Sen. Rose McConnell Long, pioneer oilman William Douglas, writer John William Corrington, architect N.S. Allen and internationally renowned sculptors Arthur C. Morgan and Clyde Connell. Cenotaphs honor people with close associations to Northwest Louisiana or who have relatives in the cemetery. Among these are full-rank Air Force General Gabriel P. Disosway, a former commander of Tactical Air Command, and James Lupton, a civilian killed in the June 1967 attack on the U.S. intelligence-gathering ship USS Liberty by Israeli attack jets and gunboats. Lupton also is one of the 100 fallen military heroes buried in or honored at Forest Park East.
Interesting and appropriate sculpture was added to the natural setting, including: a lifelike bronze statue of Lt. R.E. Smitherman, who perished in World War II; the Rev. M.E. Dodd's granite memorial, shaped like the pulpit at First Baptist Church; Paul Simmons' forest scene incised in stone; a simple stone monument commemorating the life of businessman Sinclair Kouns; and the U.S. flag that is flown in the War Veterans Section in remembrance of all those who died serving our country. Forest Park is filled with the rich history of the City of Shreveport and its surrounding area. The cemetery website offers free detailed sectional maps.
GPS Coordinates: 32.4733, -93.7592
- Added: 2 Jan 2000
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #67544
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