Saturday, January 28, 2012

Travel: Atlanta's Oldest Cemetery

For my final post for my week on Gone With the Wind, here is the historic cemetery where author Margaret Mitchell lies...

Oakland Cemetery, founded in 1850 to lay 7,000 Civil War dead, now covers 48 acres with over 70,000 graves of former Atlanta residents. In Victorian times it was an example of a highly fashionable Rural Garden Cemetery, distinguished by its magnificent mausoleums, elaborate monuments, and garden-like setting. My younger sister has a morbid fascination for it (and she's not a goth), so when she told me it was also the resting place of Margaret Mitchell, I decided to go along with her to visit it for the first time.

As a little girl, Margaret Mitchell use to ride her pony, Nellie, through Oakland's grounds. Now she's in the grounds, ha.

The Confederate Obelisk, dedicated on the day of General Robert E. Lee's funeral in 1870. Once it was the tallest structure in Atlanta, at 65 feet.

The Lion of Atlanta, erected in 1894 to honor the unknown Confederate dead.

Until 1882, Oakland was the only public park in Atlanta. These granite stairs are the only ones remaining from the days visiting ladies use to use them to alight from their carriages. 

Once, Atlanta was just the end of a rail line known as Terminus. When it became a town, and before it became a city, it was named Marthasville to honor 16-year old Martha Lumpkin, who lies here. 

The city skyline beyond the graveyard.

"OH, MY GOSH I AM A GOTH CLICHE!", so I was thinking here, and it didn't help that I saw a car serve by, and got a wink from a gal with black hair and black lips, looking at me all knowingly. Ha!

The Historic Oakland Cemetery is more of a place for the living than for the dead these days. It runs many special events from guided tours, a Victorian festival, a Halloween tour, a 5K race, and it hosts private bookings for weddings, tea parties, and other special occasions. In the center there is a Victorian-esque gift shop with all sorts of Southern memorabilia like copies and posters of Gone With the Wind, of course. It is a pleasant and quiet place to visit when visiting Atlanta, and it's only one stop away from Atlanta's funky, counter-cultural area, Little Five Points--where goths will also want to visit---for the shopping. ;) 


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