12 December 2012

Decatur Cemetery - Decatur, Georgia

One of the oldest cemeteries in the Atlanta area, and probably the oldest in continuous operation, Decatur is situated on a hilltop not far from the downtown.

Old Decatur Cemetery
The "Old Decatur Cemetary" is just a part of the overall grounds. With its park like setting the cemetery is popular with walkers at all times of the day.

Old Decatur Cemetery

21 November 2012

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta Georgia

No matter how many times I visit Oakland Cemetery I always find something new. One of Atlanta's treasures.

At this time of year it's possible to get in some night shots before the gates are closed.

28 October 2012

Alta Vista - Gainesville Georgia

The "high view" from Alta Vista always offers some interesting photo opps.

Alta Vista

25 October 2012

Weather Channel's List of Must-See Historic Cemeteries

Just in time for Halloween, the Weather Channel published their list of 15 of the most historic cemeteries in the US. I'd say they are pretty much spot on here. Oakland in Atlanta, Mt Auburn in Boston, St. Louis in New Orleans, Bonaventure in Savannah, Green-Wood in Brooklyn, and others.  I will have to add Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery in San Diego to my own list for a future visit..
15 Must-See Historic Cemeteries Across the U.S.

Winterville Cemetery - Winterville Georgia

Winterville is a small town just east of Athens. The Winterville Cemetery sits just outside town, surrounded by woods and hay fields.

04 October 2012

Queen of Heaven

Architecutural photographer John Faier spent seven years photographing large community mausoleums in the Chicago area that were built in the 50's and 60's. Wired magazine recently ran a story about his project titled Hotels for the Dead: Mausoleums Reveal Spectral Light and Kitsch Decor. His own website includes many of the photos as well: Queen of Heaven. His project is much more focused than mine here. This focus helps make it even clearer how the art, architecture and design of our burying spaces reflect the broader culture of their times.

28 September 2012

Madison Cemeteries - Madison, Georgia

At least four cemeteries are encompassed in the Madison Cemeteries property. The oldest is Old Cemetery, where the earliest known burial is from 1811. Additional parcels were added over the years: Westview in 1880, Fairview in 1904, and Madison Memorial in 1958. You can see the progression of cemetery architecture and design styles over the years in these different areas. There are also two Confederate re-interment sites on each side of the railroad tracks that bisect the property.

Confederate Section


Old Cemetery

09 September 2012

Saint Paul's Church Graveyard - Norfolk, Virginia

The final resting place for 24 Revolutionary War, and 22 War of 1812, veterans, the graveyard that surrounds St Paul's Episcopal Church may contain graves dating back to before the current church building was erected in 1739. It is a beautiful and historic church and the graves of many of Norfolks founders can be found under in the dark tree canopy and along the brick wall that surrounds the property.


26 August 2012

John Andrew Gravesite - Bishop, Georgia

The gravesite of John Andrew; Revolutionary War Veteran, Methodist Minister and member of the Georgia Assembly; is identified with a Georgia Historical Marker on the Macon Highway south of Bishop. In the early 1800's the Mt Zion Methodist church and community occupied this site, but now it sits on private property.

John Andrew gravesite, Oconee County

12 August 2012

Toronto Necropolis - Toronto, Ontario

The Toronto Necropolis dates back to 1850 when it opened to replace the Strangers' Burying Ground, and early Potter's Field. Located near the east end of the Cabbagetown neighborhood in Toronto it sits on a bluff above the Don River Valley.

01 August 2012

Family Cemetery, Currituck County, NC

Family cemetery on Caratoke Highway, NC
I came across this family plot while driving down US 158 on the way to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It's neatly and lovingly maintained, and sits right in the middle of a large soybean field.

15 July 2012

Brooklyn and Queens from the Air

Flying into LaGuardia Airport from the southwest takes you over a dozen cemeteries, providing an entirely different perspective on these green spaces. Here are four I saw from the right side of the plane. I discovered afterwards that I probably would have had a great view of Green-Wood off the left side of the plane.

Washington Cemetery, Brooklyn

Cemetery of the Holy Cross, Brooklyn

Linden Hill Cemetery, Queens

Mt. Zion Cemetery, Queens
You can see how full these cemeteries are. This article from the NY Times in 2010 discusses how all the major cemeteries in New York City are either completely full or rapidly approaching their capacity:  City Cemeteries Face Gridlock.

28 May 2012

Memorial Day 2012

No better place to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice than Arlington National Cemetery.

09 May 2012

Cross Roads Cemetery, Sandy Springs, Georgia

Joseph Pittman, 1848-1946, Cross Roads Primitive Baptist Chuch Cemetery
Joseph Pittman fought in the Civil War and lived to see the end of the Second World War and the dropping of the atomic bomb.

Cross Roads Cemetery is located next to the Crossroads Atlanta Primitive Baptist Church, but is not officially associated with the chuch. They both sit on a corner of the intersection of Mount Vernon Highway, Powers  Ferry Road and Dupree Drive. You can locate on Bing Maps and Google Maps.

Learn more about Historic Cross Roads Cemetery here.

01 May 2012

Oak Dale Baptist Churchyard, Nokesville, Virginia

Churchyard at Oak Dale Baptist Church, Nokesville, Virginia
While most of the photographs in this blog were taken at larger urban cemeteries, I often run across rural cemeteries like this one that have their own simple beauty. Most of these cemeteries are either family plots - sometimes abandoned, but usually carefully cared for by the family, or churchyards like this one. As is often the case in the south there are a few Confederate soldiers' graves in even the smallest yards.

15 April 2012

Maxwell Cemetery, Alpharetta, GA

Maxwell Cemetery
While Civil War Veterans' graves are common in cemeteries throughout Georgia, the graves of Revolutionary War Veterans are not common at all. It is always interesting to run across one. Maxwell is a small private cemetery hidden in plan view between office parks and apartments in Alpharetta. These two massive oaks could easily be as old as the cemetery - over 150 years.

John Maxwell, Georgia Volunteer, Soldier of the American Revolution
This is the grave of John Maxwell, 1763-1840, a volunteer at the age of 14. After the War John married a sister of Patrick Henry and settled in this area, where he and his wife had nine children. Note the metal tin, knife and the Marine Corp Good Conduct medal someone has placed here. A descendant perhaps, or fellow soldier?

01 April 2012

Crest Lawn Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia

Crest Lawn is situated on one of the highest spots in the city of Atlanta, and has commanding views east and south towards downtown. This high ground was of natural strategic importance during the Battle of Atlanta, and Union and Confederate troops battled to control these heights.

Several synagogues maintain burial areas at Crest Lawn.

This shot looks down onto Joe Johnston Hill. "Fighting" Joe Johnston commanded the Confederate troops defending Georgia until he was replaced by General Hood shortly before the Battle of Atlanta.

15 March 2012

Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, GA

The Henry Grady Vault at Westview Cemetery
Westview Cemetery, in Atlanta, encompassing 585 acres, is the largest cemetery in the Southeastern United States, and one of the largest in the country. It is more than twice the size of Piedmont Park, making it by far the city's largest greenspace. More on Westview here.

08 March 2012

Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, GA

Oakland's Potter's Field with the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills buildings in the background.
The Potter's Field at Oakland holds about 7500 of Oakland's 70,000 graves, all unmarked and unsegregated by race or religion. While watching the excellent Public Broadcasting Georgia documentary on Oakland last night I learned that burials in the Potter's Field were recorded and the records still exist. While most of the burials here were of people whose families did not have the means to purchase a plot or gravestone, a number were of people who simply couldn't buy a lot after they sold out in 1884.

The old Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills looms over this section of the cemetery. Jacob Elsas, a German Jewish immigrant, along with his partner Isaac May, began constructing the complex in 1881. The mill closed in 1978. The buildings have since been converted into loft condos. Jacob Elsas is interred in one of Oakland's mausoleums, with a commanding view of the Mill complex.

27 February 2012

Mt. Pleasant Baptist, Bartow County, GA

Mount Pleasant Baptist cemetery, Bartow County, Georgia
Important instructions at a self-service cemetery.

19 February 2012

Holy Rood Cemetery, Washington DC

Holy Rood, established by Holy Trinity Catholic Church in 1832, sits atop one of the highest points in Washington. Today Holy Rood is owned by Georgetown University, but is suffering from years of neglect and vandalism.

12 February 2012

Alta Vista Cemetery, Gainesville, GA

Alta Vista Cemetery, Gainesville, Georgia
Alta Vista “high view” in Spanish, and the site of this cemetery in Gainesville, Georgia offers that in all directions. This cemetery, which contains the graves of many of Gainesville's best know citizens, is perhaps best known for the grave and memorial of Civil War general James Longstreet, one of Lee's closest lieutenants.

More on Alta Vista here.

05 February 2012

Marietta City Cemetery - Marietta, GA

Marietta City Cemetery, established in 1831, is one of the oldest in the Atlanta metro area. This shot was taken as dark was fast approaching. A cemetery in the winter after sunset - a natural for B&W.

23 January 2012

Decatur - Decatur, GA

James McNeil, Colonel, GA Troops, Rev War. Died in 1853 at age 96.
The Historical Marker in Decatur Cemetery claims that it is the oldest known public burial ground in metro Atlanta. I've read the same thing about Utoy in East Point. Without definitive burial records it'll be hard to tell for sure. The "old" section of Decatur is supposed to predate the founding of the City of Decatur in 1823. Regardless, it does contain several gravesites of veterans of the American Revolution.

11 January 2012

North Burial Ground - Providence, RI

North Burial Ground, Providence, Rhode Island
I see so many photos overdone with HDR processing, to the point that they look like cartoons. Of course that is the prerogative of the photographer. Experimenting in the other direction seems appropriate for graveyard photographs. In this photo, taken at the North Burial Ground in Providence, I desaturated the image and flattened out the contrast.

02 January 2012

Rose Hill - Macon GA

Rose Hill Cemetery, Macon, Georgia
I'd read that anyone who visits Rose Hill will eventually be stopped and asked for directions to the graves of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley. These two original members of the Allman Brothers band, who died in motorcycle crashes within a year of each other in 1971 and 1972, are buried side by side in Rose Hill. Sure enough, on the day I visited I was stopped twice by people looking for the gravesite. Rose Hill is justly famous for more reasons than the Allman Brothers. It is Macon's largest and oldest cemetery, laid out over 65 acres on a bluff overlooking the Ocmulgee River. The bluff itself is split into several ridges and the varied topography creates many interesting viewpoints throughout the site.