Saturday, June 26, 2010
My children tell me I'm weird. There are a million reasons they like to tell me that, but one of the main ones is that I like to walk through old, beautiful cemeteries. The restful solitude speaks to me (maybe to all busy people), and I love the architectural elements in a cemetery. Also, I feel connected to the past in a real and earthy way (no pun intended) when strolling through these park like settings. In the late 19th century it became fashionable to plan cemeteries that resemble parks, and the living families would frequently visit these beautiful resting places for the dead.
The land for Oakland Cemetery was purchased by Atlanta city fathers in 1850 - it started with six acres. By 1872 it had expanded to 48 acres, its present size. My mother brought us here when we were children and she was working on a project with the Georgia State Archaeology department. Ever since then I have loved coming here.
On Memorial Day this year I had the idea to take my children to visit Oakland Cemetery to see the markers of the Confederate dead. So we lathered on sunblock and headed downtown. Stroll with us through Oakland....
Italian Cypress, or "pencil trees"
The Atlanta Lion, marking the unknown Confederate dead.
Markers for the Confederate dead
Door on the Thornton/ Kennedy Mausoleum
For more information and tour times, please visit the Oakland Cemetery website.
All photos via Whitehaven