Last weekend I went up to Savannah, Georgia for my cousin’s wedding. Of course Savannah is known for many things, among them for its great cemeteries. Partially publicized by books such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I visited two of Savannah’s historic cemeteries. One of the things I love about visiting cemeteries in different parts of the country is to see how many different approaches one can take to bury someone. In this, Savannah did not disappoint.
One of the cemeteries I visited was the old Colonial Cemetery, called Colonial Park, which is located just on the edge of the historic section of town where the famous squares are located.
One of the things I loved about this cemetery is that it’s a park. People just strolled in off the street and walked around. There was none of the stiff formality of a place of the dead, but a warm coziness that the people of Savannah seem to have with those that have lived in their city before them. I have to say, I really liked that a lot.
Now let’s get on to our family connection to Colonial Park. I was wandering around taking pictures when I came across this:
Yes, I know, look how they set the headstones in the brick like that. Talk about cool. But it was the marker beside it that caught my eye. “William Scarbrough, Promoter of the First Transatlantic Steamship.” I’m not history genius but I remember our family history pretty well and sure as can be, when I got back to my hotel and looked it up, my fourth cousin four times removed, Stevens Rogers, was on the very ship they’re talking about on this plaque, the Savannah. How on earth did I remember that? Because he has one of my favorite headstones and it happens to have a carving of that very same ship, the Savannah, on it. Here’s a photo of it in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London, CT:
Now I’ll share some pictures I took of the interesting ways they are preserving old stones here:
There must be a lot of stones that have been dislodged from their grave sites, because the brick back wall of the cemetery is something of an art project, a collage of homeless stones. It’s beautiful and sad at the same time. Here’s some photos so you can see what I’m talking about:
I’ll also share some pictures of some odd and beautiful stones I found. The first one has to be about the largest stone I’ve come across. I put my cell phone on top of it to give you an idea of the scale of it.
This next one has lovely imagery carved in it. I love the detail on the woman’s dress:
This carver was apparently getting paid by the word!!!!
This carver apparently didn’t believe in under doing it! It’s got so many design elements in it, it should be a little garish, but I like it.
I have the feeling that in life no one ever accused Archibald Bulloch of being understated. Check out his grave:
Here’s some other neat carvings I found:
With this one, I had to wonder which came first, the headstone or the brick monument. It almost looked like the cut up the white headstone to the oval shape you see now to set it in the brick.
Well, I hope you enjoyed your tour through Colonial Park and are inspired to stop in a visit for yourself should you ever find yourself in the lovely city of Savannah.