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Top 5: Cemeteries in Georgia

by Cam Waller

Dec 31, 2014

Bonaventure Cemetery, Georgia © Katherinedavisgothel | Dreamstime

North America

When people think of Georgia, they often think of southern hospitality, soul food and, of course, Atlanta, among other famous destinations throughout the state. For those interested in where the departed are laid to rest, here are the top five cemeteries to visit in Georgia.

 

Bonaventure Cemetery

Located in Savannah, Ga., Bonaventure is the largest cemetery in Savannah at 160 acres. Originally Bonaventure Plantation, which included a private cemetery, it changed hands twice before becoming public in 1907. It’s famous for its live oaks, mausoleums and monuments, architecture, graves of notable people and being featured in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Bonaventure is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is free to visit.

 

Oakland Cemetery

Founded in 1850, Oakland is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta. It started as six acres and was originally named the Atlanta Cemetery, eventually growing to 48 acres and being renamed for its oak and magnolia trees. It features a Confederate section for fallen Atlanta Campaign soldiers, Georgia’s second oldest Jewish burial site, Potter’s field for those who couldn’t buy a plot, a Black section including notable Black figures, a bell tower and several monuments and mausoleums. It’s the burial place of notable legislators, businesspeople and athletes. Entrance is free with self-guided tour maps available for $4. Guided tours are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and $26 for a family of four. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to dusk on weekends.

 

Magnolia Cemetery

Originally part of a plantation, Magnolia Cemetery in Augusta had its first burial in 1818. Spanning more than 60 acres, it’s the resting place of several Confederate generals and includes a Greek cemetery and five Jewish cemeteries. Its east wall was fortified during the Civil War to protect the city and it’s the home of the oldest tree in the state of Georgia. Entrance is free and it’s open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Colonial Park Cemetery

Located in the center of Savannah, Colonial Park is another of many cemeteries throughout the city. This park-like cemetery is the burial place of more than 700 victims of the yellow fever epidemic of 1820 and is a common stop on Savannah’s many ghost tours. Colonial Park opens at 8 a.m. and entrance is free. It stays open until 5 p.m. between November and March and until 8 p.m. the rest of the year.

 

Westview Cemetery

Located in Atlanta, Westview is the largest cemetery in the southeast, with more than 580 acres as the final resting place for more than 100,000. The land was the spot of a portion of a Civil War battle know as the Battle of Ezra Church; its main gate is one of the city’s oldest standing structures. A number of notable people are interred at Westview, open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.

 

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