Oakland Cemetery Gates – Atlanta
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When I lived in Atlanta, one of my favorite places to wander on the weekend was historic Oakland Cemetery. I know I couldn’t be alone because I rarely was when I visited. I’m sure some were visiting famous graves, and, of course, I saw Margaret Mitchell’s grave among others. But my fascination with old cemeteries started long ago. I grew up wandering through various old cemeteries to see the graves of long-dead family members and acquired a fascination with old burial grounds.
Specifically I am fascinated by Victorian era cemeteries like Oakland Cemetery which was founded in the mid 19th century. This was the era when cemeteries were designed to be park-like green spaces. Most any decent sized city of the day has at least one of these. Beyond the park, of course, there are the over-the-top monuments the Victorians loved to leave behind.
Oakland Cemetery in the spring is definitely an example of a “garden cemetery.” It’s filled with flowering trees and plants and you can definitely understand why people in that bygone era would pack a picnic and bring the family tend to their family plot on a beautiful day. Even though I had no family I knew of buried in Oakland, I enjoyed wandering the little lanes there, particularly on a nice weekend day.
The walls and gates at Oakland were built near the turn of the century in 1896 and I wanted this print of this historic corner of Atlanta to reflect that era. Hence the people dressed in period clothing seen near the gates on a spring or maybe early summer day. This print illustrates the west gate into Oakland as I imagine it may have looked around a century ago.
I’d love to hear what brought you to this particular print. Do you have family at Oakland Cemetery? Or perhaps you are, like me, simply a fan of old Victorian era graveyards? I would love if you took a moment to leave a comment about what attracted you to this particular print.
Note: Historic Oakland Cemetery is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places.