As strange as it may sound we love exploring cemeteries. Our favorite is Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta. We visit this historic garden cemetery several times a year to learn about nature, history, geology and more. Audrey Bierhans said, “Cemeteries should be more than places where stones lie on the ground. Cemeteries hold the stories of the people who have lived in the past ... people who have shaped our past," and I couldn't agree more.
Oakland Cemetery is a hidden treasure located less than 1 mile from the hustling and bustling city of Atlanta. It is the 3rd largest green space in Atlanta. This sanctuary was founded in 1850 and is the final resting place of many of Atlanta's settlers, builders, and most noted citizens like Bonny Jones, Margaret Mitchell and Maynard Jackson. And it is also a showplace for some spectacular sculpture and architecture and a luscious garden with ancient oaks and magnolias.
When you walk down the paths of this outdoor museum you are transported through time, and if you listen closely you will hear stories of victories, love and tragedies. Sometimes the epitaphs, grave markers and even the graves location help tell a story, but if you are looking for more details be sure to stop by the gift shop to pick up free guides or to purchase some amazing books on Oaklands resident's.
If stories don't interest you then you can marvel at the sights and symbols that you will come across. The impressive art and architecture can be seen in many styles: Victorian, Greek Revival, Gothic, Neo-classical, Egyptian and Exotic Revival. Several mausoleums feature stained glass windows from Tiffany Studios. Bronze urns over six feet high were cast at Gorham Manufacturing Company in New York, the first art foundry in America.
Oakland also offer many fabulous events and recently started offering homeschool days and educational fieldtrip opportunities. But that's not all, they also have educational resources for parents and teachers.
Also be sure to check out my blog on Clue Town booklets there is one for Oakland.
And my Lessons From The Grave blog post which lists ways you can use cemeteries as an educational opportunity and also lists more amazing cemeteries for GA.
Also check out:
Thaleia from Something 2 Offer with her Jackson Cemetery, Piqua, Ohio post.
Leigh from Campfires & Concierges with her Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery post.