Writer and photographer Deborah Burst spoke to the Covington Heritage Foundation Tuesday night, November 1, 2016, about the looks and legends of southern Louisiana cemeteries and churches. She has written many articles about New Orleans and its history, and in the past few years she has published four books featuring photographs of trees, chapels, tombs, graves, bayous and butterflies, with a few dragonflies as well.
Her talk before 20 or so members of the history appreciation group was held on the lawn of the old City Hall on Columbia Street, right across from the cemetery, which was appropriate for the All Saints Day presentation. Her presentation included several references to Covington area cemeteries and churches.
Her work in researching cemeteries and their stories as well as the churches of New Orleans and Cajun country have earned her great respect locally and a national following as well, especially since she recognizes the spiritual side of the many accounts. While she doesn't tell ghost stories, she does relate many odd coincidences between the recently departed and the location of their gravesites.
She was introduced by Foundation president Sharon Nunez, above right, who told of the importance of Covington's cemetery to the community.
Ms. Burst has a schedule of her local book signings on her website http://deborahburst.com as well as many of her photographs on display.
The latest book is a kind of travel guide for a driving tour of southern Louisiana cities and their churches and cemeteries. During her talk, she told of the true nature of the Voo Doo religion as practiced in New Orleans, and her slide show spotlighted the beautiful architecture of Catholic, Episcopal and many other churches throughout Louisiana, particularly St. Francisville, Covington, and New Orleans.
Ms. Burst is a native of New Orleans and a resident of Mandeville.