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.

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