Delgado A-Z: Interior Design

By: Dee Shedrick
"You have to be tenacious, self-motivated and organized," said Erin Sanders, department chair and associate professor of interior design. Some people think that interior design and interior decorating are the same, but they are two different things. In interior design, decorating is involved, but interior decorating does not involve interior design. Interior decorators do not have to have any kind of formal education and they are just limited to picking finishes (finishes are things like paint, flooring and wall paper). In the state of Louisiana, you have to have a license that restricts who can call themselves interior designers and who can practice interior design. Licensed designers can recommend layouts, configurations, move walls or plumbing, and draw up lighting plans.

According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive. Designers are very concerned and go to school to make sure that they are knowledgeable and that they maintain and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public at large—and they can receive this training right here at Delgado Community College.

Interior design is a skills-based major where students learn hand drafting, computer animated drafting, hand rendering and computer rendering (rendering is making a two-dimensional image look real by adding light, color and shadow). Interior design courses are referred to as studios instead of classes and students go through what is called studio sequences: studios one, two, three and four. Inside these studios, instructors will lecture and show students how to apply skills; for example, in introductory studio, students learn how to hand draft a floor plan.  Afterwards, students have lab or studio time to work on their projects before completing their projects at home. "Students have to produce projects weekly and the outside work load is pretty intense. Students can't wait until the last minute to whip out a project," said Sanders.

Interior design is very similar to architecture. Architects learn the same thing, but they focus on the exterior; interior designers focus on the interior. Just like architects, interior designers use AutoCAD software (AutoCAD is the industry leader in two and three-dimensional CAD design, drafting, and modeling software). Students also use 20-20, Revit and Adobe Photoshop software, art supplies and drafting tools such as T squares, triangles, drafting pens and pencils. And because of this background, many students end up working for architects and architecture firms.

Interior design graduates have many choices to choose from after graduation. They are qualified to do more than just homes. They can design hotels, restaurants, doctor’s and lawyer's offices and even be staff designers at major corporations. "I worked as a commercial designer in a hospital before I came to Delgado," said Sanders. Students can take their degree and go into many adjunct fields, such as staging, event planning, facilities, project or construction management, product sales and real estate development. Graduate Liz Hartman Lawson is a prime example of that diversity.

Liz Hartman Lawson with her dog Gracie after graduation
Lawson graduated in May of 1998 with honors and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She immediately found a job and went to work at an interior design firm called Lisambiance.  "Lisambiance was a great place to start my career, because it was where I learned the foundation of how an interior design firm operates. We did both residential and commercial design work,” said Lawson.

From there she went on to work for Norwalk Furniture, where she sold furniture, accessories and fabric. After that she worked with Wikoff and Mestayer, an architect and design firm.  Ed Wikoff was actually one of her professors at Delgado.  While at Wikoff and Mestayer, she transferred his hand drawings into CAD drawings. "It was fascinating to see a design from an architect’s point of view. Ed is an extremely talented architect. He taught me a lot at Delgado and it was a pleasure to work with him," said Lawson.

Living room designed by Liz H. Lawson
Later on, Lawson moved to the Georgia Mountains after Katrina where she worked as a designer for a boutique shop.  "It was a very different design experience coming from New Orleans to the mountains to design.  The end result was the same though, sharing one’s talent to enhance someone else's world," she said.  She was also one of the staff designers at Mountain Marble and Tile, where she custom designed kitchens, bathrooms and hard surface flooring. Although Lawson has experience in other areas, she has always maintained her own design firm, "ehl designs."

Master bedroom designed by Liz H. Lawson
Lawson is not the only interior designer who walked through Delgado's doors to have an illustrious career. Although he did not graduate from the College, New York Interior Designer Marc Charbonnet attended the school for three months. Charbonnet went on to design Michael J. Fox’s Manhattan apartment and his Connecticut estate.  He has also designed many residences on New York's Fifth and Park Avenues, and in his hometown of New Orleans.

Not only is interior design a creative profession, but it is very intimate as well.  Designers have to go into their client's homes or businesses to help them change their living or working environment.  "More times than not, my clients become my friends, which says a lot about my business.  It is very exciting to go into someone's home or office and transform their dreams with my vision into a dream come true. The expression on my client's faces when they see the finish product, well, it really is an amazing moment.  Of course they have been helping to make decisions along the way, but it's just pieces to the puzzle. The joy in their eyes is worth it all in the end. The bottom line is I that love what I do, but the real gift is that I can do what I love, and bring happiness into my client's lives," said Lawson.


Delgado A-Z: Horticulture

by: Hilton Guidry
With the economic boom of the 1990s and the explosion of home improvement, it was the perfect time for Delgado Community College to offer a certificate program in horticulture technology. In 2001 the school hired Dr. Jerry Sisk from the LSU Agriculture Center to become its new program director. Before Dr. Sisk came on board, the school started offering a handful of horticulture classes in the 1970's, but Dr. Sisk was able to build a full program from a classroom and textbook setting to the hands-on training program it is today.
Dr. Jerry Sisk: "Founder" of the Horticulture Program
Outside the Horticulture Greenhouse
In order to provide students with the proper training to work in the green industry, the school built a garden learning center and purchased a greenhouse in 2003 with Carl Perkins funds. Young students who may have mowed lawns during the summers as well as older established professionals could now enroll in the program and learn landscaping design, irrigation, plant propagation and greenhouse management. Delgado also offered a standalone class for horticulture professionals who wanted to receive a state license in landscape horticulture.
Student & Jenny Wilson (Right), Lab Coordinator, Working in the Greenhouse
Student Watering Plants
 In 2005 Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and much of Delgado Community College needed to be rebuilt. The greenhouse made it through the storm relatively undamaged, but the garden learning centers were destroyed. Shortly after everyone returned to school, Dr. Sisk announced his retirement and turned to one of his former students, Bettie Abbate, to take over as program director. Abbate had recently graduated from LSU with a M.S. in Human Resource Education & Workforce Development with a Horticulture concentration in May 2005.
Greenhouse After Katrina

Greenhouse Today
 After Katrina the majority of students were taking online courses while the schools facilities were being repaired. It was at that time that Abbate decided to develop service learning around online courses as a way for students to participate in lab activities. One particular student went back to his elementary school and built a school garden with the children while others landscaped homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Garden Learning Center After Katrina
Garden Learning Center Today
 “The idea of giving back to the community is huge for goodwill and marketing,” Abbate said. “Word of mouth is how people market their business in horticulture. It’s very visual; when people see a really nice landscape they will stop and ask, ‘Who did your landscaping?’ So I like to use service learning as way for students to learn good business practices.”
Students at Habitat for Humanity
Students Working at Habitat for Humanity
 In a partnership with the LSU Agriculture center, 30 Delgado Horticulture students had the opportunity to help restore the coast after the BP oil spill. They took a trip out to the Louisiana barrier islands and planted plants in swats of bare sand for hurricane protection.
Students Helping to Restore Coastal Erosion
A Section of the Sand Levee That Needed Plants to Help Protect Against Hurricanes
Students also work at the school plant sale twice a year as a way for them to interact with the public, market plants and set prices. Many of the students in the program will go on to open their own business, so this type of training along with the program’s business management classes is very beneficial to a young entrepreneur.

“There are plenty of opportunities for businesses in horticulture,” said Abbate. “It’s a huge industry, particularly in this city. You can make as much money as you are willing to work. Some former students are making what engineers are making.”

The Delgado horticulture program is growing every year. According to Abbate, they usually have about 50 students a semester and they are always trying to improve the program by adding new classes and new technologies.

“I recently started teaching a new class called horticulture therapy. It’s totally different from anything else we have in the program. It shows students how horticulture can be therapeutic to people who have social, mental or physical disabilities. Studies have shown that if you put people in a typical rehab setting, they get frustrated, pain can overwhelm them, and once that happens, they don’t respond. But if you put them in a greenhouse or horticultural setting, they find it more peaceful and enjoyable and they are more likely to push through pain and move forward with their rehab.”

The school also recently purchased a software program where you can design a landscape and show a potential customer what the plants will look like five or 10 years into the future. Another computer program helps students to write estimates on maintenance of a lawn or landscape. “Students are coming in with laptops, where five or 10 years ago no one was doing that,” said Abbate.

Dr. Sisk planted the seed that Bettie Abbate cultivated into the horticulture program of today. He died shortly after retiring from the program and never had the chance to see how much it has grown. I am sure he’d have the same feeling as horticulture graduates would after just completing a beautiful landscaping job—standing there with arms folded, admiring their finished project and saying, “That turned out pretty good!”


Delgado A-Z: GED

By: Dee Shedrick
Angelina Jolie did it. So did Michael J. Fox, Britney Spears, Chris Rock, Paris Hilton, Mark Wahlberg, Cyndi Lauper and Jerry Garcia. Yes, they all received their General Educational Diploma (GED), instead of a high school diploma. Students have many reasons why they drop out of school: some didn't like it and were bored; some were not committed and didn't see the purpose; some started families and needed to go to work; some had disciplinary problems and were expelled; while others may have had medical or personal issues that were beyond their control. In spite of a student's initial reason for dropping out of high school, they eventually return and most of them acquire a GED. Erin Landry, adult education coordinator and teacher said, "After growing up a little bit, people who quit school generally realize that they need that diploma because it will help them move forward." The Adult Education Program at Delgado Community College helps those returning students obtain their personal educational goals.

Delgado began offering the Adult Education Program when the state approached the school in 2006. The program was previously run by the Orleans Parish School Board and dismantled after Hurricane Katrina. The program has been growing steadily with a projection of 2,200 students by the end of this school year in June of 2012. There are six sessions per year, with at least 30 - 35 sections per session and about 800 students enrolled. The program has sites at Delgado's City Park Campus, in Mid-City, on the West Bank, in Metairie and in Orleans Parish Prison.

Before students enter the program they take a series of tests that determine their level of placement in five areas: literature, writing, math, science and social studies. The classes are actually taught by an instructor and are very interactive. "It's not like some GED programs where students get put on the computer and told, 'here's the book, figure it out,' " said Landry. The course is for six hours each week for six weeks with support services like study halls and tutors so that students can get one-on-one attention and get extra help to prepare them as quickly as possible. After students complete their session they take a practice exam and if their scores are GED ready, they go off to take the actual exam with the state. Tests are administered at Dillard University and Warren Easton High School. For the most part the program is free, except for the cost of a notebook, pens, pencils and the testing fee. It is designed this way for students so that cost is not a barrier.

The majority of the students that enroll in the GED program are in their mid 20s or older, working and/or raising children. They are ready to make a change, and obtaining their GED is the first step to opening up a lot of doors. "The GED doesn't necessarily get you a promotion, but it helps you get into the college so you can study some sort of trade or career path and then hopefully move you toward a better job or promotion in the job you already have," said Landry.

After students receive their certificate, most of them have goals of attending college, and a course called College Career and Success Skills (CCSS) is highly recommended to prep them for the college experience. Of course, Delgado offers the class that helps students develop skills in managing time, improving study habits, using college resources, and setting academic and career goals. Based on a recent four-year study conducted by the College's Institutional Effectiveness office, students who take and pass CCSS succeed in their classes and return to school the next year at a rate higher than the national average for all community college students. The course carries three hours of elective college credit.

A 35-year-old mother of three has just received her GED and is currently taking the CCSS class (she chooses to remain anonymous because she has been working for years in a profession and fears that she will lose her job if they find out that she didn't have a high school diploma). The recent graduate plans to finish college with a Ph.D in psychology. "People call me at all times of the night to talk about different problems … I've answered my phone at 3 a.m. in the morning without telling anyone that I'll call them back, she said." She loves helping people figure out their feelings and helping them resolve their problems. Although she is enjoying her experience and the teachers at Delgado, she believes that it is her determination that has gotten her this far. "I don't feel like receiving my GED is an accomplishment--an accomplishment would be a degree in a field of my choice," she said unflinchingly.


Inside The Tool Kit, Delgado's Classic Newsletter From 1920s And Beyond

by: Bob Monie
In 1921, the first year of Delgado Trades School, Louis A. Dodge, the secretary for the Delgado Board of Administrators and the school's publicist, wrote a four-page newsletter called The Tool Kit for the students, administrators, teachers, and clerical staff to get them off to a congenial start. Both students and faculty members,  especially in the printing department, liked the idea so much that they adopted the newsletter as their own, gladly taking the burden off Dodge's shoulders, enlarging the format to 15 pages or more per issue,  taking care to include activities from every department. The revamped Tool Kit was published regularly from 1922 to at least 1927 and sporadically thereafter. Preserved copies of the newsletter in the Delgado College archives and the Louisiana collection of the New Orleans Public Library have begun to yellow and turn brittle with age, so they have been made available electronically here

    Let's open a few copies and have a look; they offer a unique view of Delgado's first decade of operation:

January 1922 Issue, edited by Robert Brydon, Jr., William Schultz, and C.W. Culbertson

H. G. Martin, the director of the trades school, counsels students that although Delgado exists for their benefit, “we are not going to sprinkle” their “path with roses.” “Much hard work and discipline” will be required to emerge from Delgado as a young man prepared to make a living in a trade. Assistant Director O. J. Davieson assures students that in the aftermath of World War I the U.S. offers qualified tradesmen many more jobs than Europe is able to offer.  A contributor congratulates Student Lahare “for organizing a successful Halloween dance,” and someone boasts that the school auditorium on the third floor can seat 1,200 and is “the most beautiful auditorium the state of Louisiana.” O.J. Davieson has designed golden Delgado Trades School (dTs) lapel pins that he would like all students to wear. They are available from Miss Ragas in his office at 75 cents each. The night school reports “over 500 men enrolled and many names yet remain on waiting lists.” One night school student was seen attending class “in a tuxedo” perhaps on his way from one party to another or one job to another.  A snatch of poetry emerges from the carpentry shop: “Within this hive of busy bees/ Skilled men are modeled for industries/ To fit the boy to earn a living/ Was the object of Delgado's giving.”  A “vocational guide program” allows boys as yet undecided on which trade to learn to try out several trades before making a choice; and “sightless student,” Tom Slough, “invented a machine that uses steam to remove the wood spline from the seats of cane-seated chairs.”  C.W. Culbertson, sports feature writer, notes that “strictly speaking athletics at this school is yet unborn” though students interested in running cross-country were invited to hike along the 17th Street Canal, the Lakeshore, and the Orleans Canal in a try-out for the future program. Anyone who can play a “band or orchestra” instrument is invited to “report to Miss Ragas in O. J. Davieson's office” where plans are underway to form a Delgado band.

Early '20s photo of key administrators and assistants
Upper Row - Louis A Dodge, O. J. Davieson
Lower Row - Miss Ragas, Miss Mason, and H. G. Martin
February 1922

The cover features a quotation from Benjamin Franklin: “Sloth makes all things difficult, but Industry all easy.”  Ten musicians reported to O. J. Davieson's office, and a piano was soon made available to them. Delgado celebrates the opening of the electric shop and the “triumph of electricity, telephony, wireless,” and other electrical fields. The school building (today Building 1) was “open to inspection every week day” by the public, who were cordially invited to visit. Students are urged to “yell ‘Gold and Green! Gold and Green! Delgado! Delgado! Make it Seem!’” as an official school cheer. In a cartoon sketch appears a grinning Delgado student proud of his Delgado (dTs) lapel pin. The trades school receives high praise in a letter from Douglas Anderson, dean of the engineering department at Tulane University and a member of the Delgado Board of Managers since Delgado opened. He considers the establishment of Delgado Trades School “one of the most important and progressive steps taken in recent years in the advancement of education in the City of New Orleans.” Thanks are given to the Tulane University YMCA for donating “complete sets of equipment for baseball, volleyball, basketball, and tennis.”  An editor looks back at the short but vibrant history of the school:

“It was only in the summer of 1921 that the first students were enrolled.  The ceremonies incident to the formal dedication of the school were held in the auditorium on November 23, [1921].  His Honor, Andrew J. McShane, presiding, and many prominent educators and hundreds of other citizens attending.”

Ben Franklin's Maxim on Cover

Cartoon of Delgado Student With Lapel Pin
March 1922      

Director H. G. Martin reports that 780 students are attending night school; 265 more are on the waiting list. Instructor A. Max and his sheet metal students are featured, along with photos of fantastic flower pots fabricated from sheet metal by Max's students. If any of these still exist, they are collector's items. New members of the faculty make their debut.  Frank Roccisano, an Italian tailor, is on board, along with Henry C. Adams, a drafting instructor.  Chef John Henry Breland makes his first appearance.  He will remain at Delgado for decades, to run the school restaurant, dubbed “Breland's Beanery” or “Hotel Breland” by students, teach commercial cooking classes, and achieve fame for his series of nationally-distributed cookbooks. Delgado instructors use “lantern slides,” the latest visual technology equipment—a precursor of the slide projector—to illustrate their lectures. Instructor Behre entertains his cabinet-making students with a lantern slide presentation on cypress wood.  In athletics, Delgado's great rival or “natural enemy” is Warren Easton High School.

The Sheet Metal Shop
Fantastic Delgado Flower Pots

John Henry Breland Arrives at Delgado

Chef John Henry Breland 22 Years Later
Cover Of Breland's Salad Book
Excerpt From Breland's Salad Book

April-May 1922

The machine shop and tailoring programs are featured. Students who aspire to attend engineering school in college after graduating from trades school are told to first learn their basic science and mathematics at Delgado.  Drafting students have created a clever cartoon called the “wopdoolie” (a mythical animal of the scientific age?) from the drafting tools used in class. A handsome portrait  appears of Edgar A. Christy's main Delgado building inscribed in an oval and it is mentioned in passing that, in addition to its local sister school, Francis T. Nicholls, Delgado has another sister school in Mexico.

The Machine Shop
Rendition of Building 1 in Oval Frame - 1922
Drafting Students Unveil the "Wopdoolie"
June 1922

The cabinet-making program takes the spotlight in photos and a cartoon showing instructor J. C. Behre wielding a saw. An article by Tulane engineering dean Douglas Anderson characterizes Delgado and Tulane “working side by side.” A visitor recalls seeing a machine shop student happily hammering away on a block of metal while whistling the “Wang-Wang Blues” to keep time. The visitor concluded that Delgado was “a wonderful school.”  One student recalls that fig pie, a Chef Breland creation, was a favorite selection in the cafeteria.

J. C. Behre's Cabinet Shop
Students' Cartoon of J. C. Behre's Cabinet Shop
July 1922

Seymour Weiss, a member of the first Delgado Board of Managers, owner of the Roosevelt Hotel and crony of Huey P. Long, is mentioned. Students in the interior decorating department pose with their wall and tapestry designs. O. J. Davieson recalls that “on August 17, 1921, we opened the school with approximately 75 students, and on the afternoon of the same day, actual shop practice was begun and has been going on ever since without any unnecessary delays.”  In summer 1922, a wireless receiving set was installed in the electricity lab, and the school announced that “1300 men” had received training at Delgado Central Trades School since the day it opened.

Coming To Grips With the Latest Automotive Technology
Plaque Celebrating Enrollment of 1,300 Students
First Delgado Baseball Team (1922)
Delgado Crowd Cheers During Faculty-Student Game
December 1922

Instructors H. Arnold and J. Casiragh present the print shop program, with photographs of linotype and monotype machines.  They remind the reader that the printing program typically takes three years to complete, and the Delgado print shop produces The Tool Kit. On November 23, 1922, Delgado Trades School celebrated the birth of its founder, Isaac Delgado.  Shops and classes were closed at noon.   After lunch (in Chef Breland's cafeteria) all the students and faculty, headed by H. G. Martin and Elleonora Moss, made their way to Metairie Cemetery to place a bouquet of flowers on Mr. Delgado's grave.  The ceremony was brief but impressive. Heads bared, the several hundred students listened to “brief eulogistic words by Mr. Martin and the gracious words of Miss Moss, after which the students and class representatives deposited their floral offerings upon the grave of their benefactor.  The students were then dismissed for the day.”  On the back cover of the newsletter appears one representation of the Delgado lapel pin.

Delgado Printing Department
Backcover Drawing of Delgado Golden Lapel Pin
January 1923

Delgado cafeteria photos highlight the stewardship program of William Shultz and John Henry Breland.  Guest posers from Nicholls High School in New Orleans, “open to girls 14 or over” model the fashions they have created.

J. H. Breland's Cafeteria Staff Ready To Serve
May 1923

A cartoon shows the Delgado Athletic Association gladly accepting a gift from its sister school, Nicholls.  The well-known New Orleans surgeon Dr. Joseph Cohen offers free first-aid classes at Delgado, and jewelers lobby Delgado to add classes in horology (watch and clock making and repair).

The Pattern-Making Department
Nicholls Girls' School Presents Gift to Delgado Athletic Program
July 1923

Student A. Wink, whose name will appear on several Delgado publications in the 1920s, designed the cover.  Donors joined forces to improve the bare-field appearance of the Delgado campus.  Florist P. Chopin donated enough luscious American Beauty roses to cover 150 linear feet of garden; the Steckles Seed Co. lined the Delgado walk with green landscaping plants; Miss Elleonora Moss provided two colorful crepe myrtle trees for the driveway entrance, and the City Parkway Commission  supplied oleander and azalea bushes. New Orleans school board leader Nicholas Bauer, whose writings a decade earlier may have inspired Elleonora Moss to suggest that Isaac Delgado endow a boy's trade school, delivered a lecture on June 20.  Nicholls girl's school raised $200 for Delgado Trades School.


Delgado A-Z: Funeral Services Program Part II

By: Dee Shedrick
Broken headstones, exposed bones, unmarked graves and overgrown grass used to describe Holt Cemetery nestled behind Delgado Community College. Today, local and national volunteers are committed to the cleanup and maintenance of Holt Cemetery and Delgado's very own Assistant Professor of Funeral Services Bobbiann Lewis is one of those volunteers. Lewis believes it is her responsibility to maintain the upkeep of Holt. "People were afraid to visit the cemetery because of its condition. We have seen exposed bones and skulls and people shouldn't have to see stuff like that--you won't see that at the bigger cemeteries," said Lewis. Not only is Lewis an instructor, but she is also a graduate of Delgado’s Funeral Services program, class of 1989. Lewis teaches a course called “The Dynamics Of Grief” to the maximum number of 13 students who are selected into the program each year and a field trip to Holt Cemetery is part of her lesson plan.

Painted Holt Cemetery Sign
Owned by the city, Holt Cemetery opened in 1879 to replace Locust Grove Nos. 1 and 2 that closed and were demolished to build the Thomy Lafon school and playground, located Uptown. Lafon has also been torn down since then and replaced with the Harmony Oaks apartments. Holt is one of New Orleans' oldest cemeteries and was built with poor families in mind. For the cost of $450, a family can bury their loved ones, but with one catch--the families are responsible for maintaining their own gravesites.

Hand-made Tombstone
Holt Cemetery is one of the few graveyards where burial graves are under ground. Supposedly, gravediggers can only dig about four feet into the earth because of New Orleans' low sea level. The cemetery is very unique and does not follow the standard manicured landscaping of other private or corporate owned cemeteries. At Holt you will find handmade markers and plots outlined by anything a family could get their hands on like, pipes, bricks and garden fencing. Holt is named after Dr. Joseph Holt who was instrumental in gaining control of one of the worse yellow fever epidemics that cost many New Orleanians their lives.

Pipe-lined Gravesite
 Dr. Holt became president of the state board of health in 1884 after his predecessor failed to gain control of the yellow fever epidemic that had already killed more than 4,000 people. Yellow fever is an infection that spreads through the body causing jaundice, fever, vomiting, internal bleeding,  organ failure and death. The virus spreads from person-to-person through mosquito bites that are more prevalent during the summer time. It is believed that the viral infection came from infected sailors who sailed from other tropical climates, for example, South America, to do business here in New Orleans. Attempts were made to control the epidemic and treat the sick with bloodletting and drinking large doses of carbolic acid and/or quinine, but those attempts were unsuccessful.

Moss Draped Oak Tree Provides Shade for Graves
Another attempt to put a stop to the disease came all the way from the White House. The United States' 19th president, Rutherford Hayes, signed the Quarantine Act of 1878, a law that prevented ships from coming to any shore until passing an inspection that determined that its crew members were disease-free. If they failed the test, the ships, passengers and cargo were quarantined.  Dr. Holt realized how unrealistic and detrimental it would be to the economy if that was the only solution to this horrific problem. So he came up with the idea to treat the victims of the fever and fumigate the ships they were travelling in. John Kendall’s book, History of New Orleans, outlines the steps of his treatment strategy:

"Briefly described, the new system, inaugurated early in June, 1885, comprised the following procedures: Wetting all woodwork, ballast, clothing, bedding, etc., with a solution of bichloride of mercury, 1 to 1,000. After that treatment, all textile fabrics were subjected to heat in a drying chamber provided with coils of steam pipe. (Later a device was added to introduce steam into the chamber, both to secure greater penetration and to guard against fire among the fabrics under treatment.) Forcing into the holds freshly generated sulphur fumes drawn from a battery of furnaces (on a special tugboat) by a powerful rotary exhaust blower driven by a steam engine. After complete disinfection, vessels with all on board were detained long enough to cover the incubation period of yellow fever."

Dr. Holt was highly praised for single-handedly dismantling the "maritime quarantine" so that business deals could resume as quickly as possible. The book also stated that, "Certain improvements in the 'system' were introduced later, but so far as the main object of keeping out yellow fever was concerned, its success was immediate and complete." Holt cemetery became the final resting stop for many yellow fever victims; however, they were not the only residents buried in this historical landmark.

Old Crematory Oven Located on the Cemetery Property
 Coronet player Buddy Bolden (Charles Joseph 1877-1931), also known as King Bolden, was also buried in Holt Cemetery in plot c-623. Although we have no idea of the exact location of his grave because of poor record keeping, a monument was placed in the graveyard in honor of the famous Jazz musician. Bolden started out as a bandleader and performed around the city in the historic Storyville (Red Light District) with his own musical ensemble, the Eagle Band. Bolden suffered with bouts of alcoholism and eventually determined insane and committed into a mental institution where he died. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of Jazz and a street bears his name, Buddy Bolden Place that runs near the cemetery.

Monument for Buddy Bolden
Buddy Bolden Place That Runs Near Delgado's Building 1
Another notable musical character buried in the cemetery is New Orleans singer, Jessie Hill who wrote and sang the popular R&B hit "Ooh Poo Pah Doo"  that was released in 1963. Hill was born in the Ninth Ward and got his start as a drummer for our own pianist, Professor Longhair. Later, he formed a band called the House Rockers and moved to California where he wrote songs for Willie Nelson, Sonny and Cher and Ike and Tina Turner. He eventually returned to New Orleans as a taxicab driver, driving a black Cadillac he named “The Poo Cab.” Drinking and drugs were no stranger to Hill who was never able to release another hit song, unlike his horn playing grandson, Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty.

It is also worth mentioning Chester Jones who was also laid to rest in Holt Cemetery. Jones died at 71in September 1984 and is the father of Benny Jones Sr., who founded the local Treme Brass Band. Jones was a former middleweight boxer and Jazz drummer that played regularly at Preservation Hall.  

It doesn't matter to Bobbiann Lewis if the deceased are famous or not. Lewis is passionate and committed to teaching her students that after a person dies, the responsibility of their remains still continues, even long after their burial. So incorporating a Service Learning aspect to student's curriculum was inevitable (Service Learning integrates community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience).  "The process of grieving does not end at disposition--we need to be more focused on continued dignity," said Lewis.