Lafayette Cemetery Number 2 was founded in the 1850s. Those buried here were predominantly part of societies dedicated to causes, organized labor, social aid, etc. What all New Orleans cemeteries have in common is their above-ground tombs. Most of the city is either at or below the water table, when graves were dug traditionally, the hole could fill with water before the dead could be buried. In the 1830s the city passed an ordinance in order to reduce noxious fumes emitted by corpses, specifying that no person should be buried near Bayou St. John unless the tombs and vaults were above the ground. The result is Cities of the Dead, open to all who are dying to get in.