Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Photo Essay of Historic Oakland Cemetery

A couple weeks ago (on a much less dreary Sunday than today) I visited Oakland Cemetery, located in the center of Atlanta it is the areas largest cemetery and one of Atlanta's largest public park spaces. Founded in 1850 as 'Atlanta Cemetery', it has grown over the years to it's current 48 acres, more than eight times it's original size. It is now the final resting place of over 70,000 people including many civil war dead for the battles in Atlanta and surrounding areas, many of whom are buried in 'unknown' graves.

There are two characteristics of the cemetery that I found particularly interesting and a testament to the social change that has occured over the time since the cemetery was founded; The first is the fact that the older burial sections are segregated into white, jewish, and 'colored' sections. Unfortunately much of the colored section now appears to be empty since due to the lower social standing of the individuals buried there many of the graves were made of wood and have been lost to time. The other noteable area of the cemetery is 'Potter's Field' an open field that was used as a mass grave of sorts for over 17,000 poor or unidentified people over the years.

Here are some of the images I captured while exploring the cemetery. Unfortunately I had to limit the number of photos shared here to twelve of my favorites. I like that when viewing these photos you can't help but notice the contrast of the Victorian-era graves with the evidence of the urban metropolitan area in which they are located such as parts of the Atlanta skyline and a subway train passing through the background of one of the photos...

To learn more about Oakland Cemetery visit the Official Website or it's Wikipedia Page.
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