I found Find A Grave while searching for my 2nd great grandfather's burial site. I didn't find it on here but did find several relatives and some valuable information for my family tree. I also learned I am not the only one looking for a lost relative. Some of the people looking for a family member have no way of finding them and do not have a hint where to start. That is why this cause is so dear to my heart.
I am not a spokesperson for the committee or Central Louisiana State Hospital. I am simply a great granddaughter of someone buried at the cemetery.
If you would like to help, please send me a message. I will give you the address and the Facebook page.
Committee for the Preservation and Enhancement of Central Louisiana State Hospital Cemetery
This committee was formed by Mr. Ray Moreau. Their mission began in the late 1980's with as few as 6 people. Although the committee has grown there is still a lot of work to be done. Of 2465 souls buried at the cemetery only 10 have a marker acknowledging their lives. At one time there was not one visible stone or any indication of who the people were or the lives they led. Many families do not know where their relative is buried.
The committee's goal is to place permanent markers for each of the 2465 souls buried at the Central Louisiana State Hospital Cemetery, to have the cemetery recognized as a dedicated cemetery and establish a perpetual fund for the ongoing care of the cemetery in the future.
Because of the HIPPA laws the committee and the hospital can not authorize or place a memorial for the people buried at Central on Find A Grave. However, family members can.
CLSH Cemetery Preservation
Central Lousiana State Hospital Cemetery Preservation Facebook Page
Central Louisiana State Hospital Cemetery
In 1902, the Louisiana Legislature authorized an establishment to house and treat the mentally ill of our state. The facility operated under several names since its opening on 6 January 1906, but is currently known as Central Louisiana State Hospital. A morgue was set up and a site was selected for a cemetery.
Given the social conditions of the times, the stigma of mental illness, plus the difficulty of contacting relatives and arranging transportation of the bodies, it was not surprising that many of the deceased patients were buried on the hospital grounds in the cemetery. Until such time as the hospital could obtain the services of a Chaplin, the superintendent or some of the staff physicians handled the burial services, using the simple service of the Methodist Church.
These early funeral services were handled entirely by the hospital, with the body being transported to the gravesite in a wheelbarrow until 1933 when a hand-drawn hearse was constructed. This hearse was used until 1950 and was pushed by pallbearers to the gravesite. Deceased female patients were draped in pink or blue shrouds made by the workers in the sewing room, and the carpenter shop probably furnished coffins.
Hospital records indicate the cemetery was last used in June 1985. A large wooden cross, constructed in the hospital's carpenter shop, was placed on the hill in early 1960's. A large white solid concrete cross has since replaced it. Hospital workers poured a large concrete slab near the street for the placing of grave markers by relatives of the deceased.