Recently, my e-friend, Augusta, sent me the link to a book that
had been put together in 1903, containing photographs of New
Orleans that some visitors to the city had taken.
"Avis de Deces"
The notices above are from 1904...and times actually were changing.
Two of the notices are in English and only one is in French.
One of the things that interested me most was the photo of the
death notice above.  I'd always thought that it was probably the
custom in most cities at that time to post death notices in public
places as a way of letting people know.
If that's so, then I assume the reason they thought this notice
was worthy of a photo was that it was in French.  Being new to
the city, they may have been surprised to find death notices
posted in French a hundred years after the Louisiana purchase!
(I could have told them - even a hundred years later - that New
Orleanians don't take quickly to change, we like to work our
way very slowly into a different way of doing things.
But the thing that interested me about this particular notice
was the funeral home listed at the bottom:  F. Laudumiey.
When I was in high school, one of my best friends was from this
family.  Her father worked in the family business and, up until
she was about ten years old, she actually lived above the
funeral home on N. Rampart Street.
One day, in English class, she was passing me a note about the
time she'd seen a ghost in their apartment.  The teacher inter-
cepted it and, instead of being irritated that we were passing
notes, he asked her to share her story with the class.  She
regaled us with ghost stories the rest of the period.
Laudumiey Funeral Home is no longer in the building on
North Rampart Street.  The name was changed to Tharp-
Sontheimer-Laudumiey and they're at different locations now.
The last time I went by the old building on N. Rampart, it was
empty and I noticed that it was for lease.  I thought of my friend.
I thought of the ghosts.  I wondered if they were lonely.
-- Nancy
The former Laudumiey building on N. Rampart Street.
The ghosts have the building all to themselves.