In 1850 officials purchased six acres to serve as a burial place for the growing town of Atlanta. The cemetery was known Atlanta Graveyard or City Burial Place. Over the years it grew to 48 acres (due in part to the Civil War) and in 1872 it was renamed to the Oakland Cemetery. The entrance in this photo was added in 1896.
Families took great care if family plots, creating gardens that served as an attraction to local residents who would take carriage rides through the grounds and had picnics on Sundays. As the years passed families moved away and the cemetery fell into disrepair. The cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The honor renewed interest in the cemetery and a group soon formed to restore and maintain it.
Today the cemetery hosts a series of annual events and attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. Among the graves are those of Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones as well as many of Atlanta’s prominent residents over the years.
June 9th, 2020
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