I decided to go on a little adventure. I found myself at the Oakland Historic Cemetery at sunset. It was built in 1850 overlooking then downtown Atlanta, Georgia. With graves dating back to the early 1800’s, many of them Confederate soldiers, the graveyard seemed too unique to pass by unexplored.
I found a beautiful statue, very detailed, of a couple holding hands sitting on a bench. At the head of the statue sat two flat headstones. The inscription at the base of the statue kept it simple, “To Love To Passion To Deb.” The woman’s flat headstone read “Debra Landis.” She died in 2006, while his headstone remains blank, waiting to be engraved.
The cemetery contains separate Jewish and African American burial sections, as well as separate Confederate and Union sections. Some graves were in need of repair, while others had obviously fallen past the point of repair.
The walkways were made of red brick, and the sunset made them shimmer with a sort of reddish-gold color.
It was strange to think that these men died for something that we only study. They gave up their chance to live, to fight for something they truly believed in. We read about it in books, but it seems so distant.
The cemetery was developed in the “rural style,” and holds victorian ideals in funerary art and English landscaping. Together these two create a rural style that most of us are familiar with.
This was another one of my favorites. The stone is in an obvious state of disrepair. It sat alone with no other headstones around it. I imagined someone in 1893, 118 years ago, scraping just enough money to buy this headstone. And with every season time takes its toll, slowly.
The light was gone now, and I spotted my car through the big oak trees. I turned my camera off, hoping to see another person, maybe exchange a glance. Not a soul. I was alone for my whole hour and a half.
I turned and snapped one last pic of the Oakland entrance. Next time you find yourself in Atlanta, I’d highly recommend a visit.