Atlanta, GA

Tour Atlanta’s past at these top historic cemeteries

Paige Minds The Gap

Atlanta’s cemeteries hold the secrets to the city’s past. A cemetery tour is a great way to get to know the history of a place, and Atlanta is full of plenty of hauntingly beautiful historic cemeteries. Dive into Atlanta’s past and learn history in a whole new light at these top historic cemeteries in and around Atlanta.

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Oakland Cemetery

Historic Oakland Cemetery is Atlanta’s oldest public park and its best-known cemetery. Founded in 1850 as “Atlanta Cemetery, the 48 acre park is the final resting place of so many notable Atlanta figures. Among the oak and magnolia trees, Gothic mausoleums, and treasure trove of sculpture and architecture, you’ll find the graves of historic figures like Pulitzer Prize winning author Margaret Mitchell, first African American mayor of Atlanta Maynard Jackson, golf legend Bobby Jones, and more. Oakland Cemetery holds tours throughout the year to help you get to know Atlanta’s history through their famous residents.

Westview Cemetery

Opened in 1884, Westview Cemetery is one of the largest nonprofit cemeteries in the country and the largest cemetery in the Southeast. Throughout its hundreds of acres of land, you can find the graves of notable Atlanta figures like founder of Coca-Cola Asa G. Candler, Mayor William B. Hartsfield, author of the “Uncle Remus Stories” Joel Chandler Harris, and other well-known Southerners. In 1943, Asa Candler started construction on the Westview Mausoleum and Abbey, the largest structure of its kind containing space for 11,444 entombments.

Marietta National Cemetery

The Marietta National Cemetery, originally known as the Marietta and Atlanta National Cemetery, was established in 1866 to provide a resting place for nearly 10,000 Union soldiers from Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. This 23 acre cemetery is adorned with five monumental masonry archways that originally served as the formal entrance to national cemeteries in the South.

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Utoy Cemetery

Utoy Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries within the Atlanta city limits. The cemetery has tombstones dating back to 1816, making it one of the oldest properties to survive from the earliest period of European American settlement. The adjacent Utoy Church was used as a military field hospital during the Battle of Utoy Creek and treated both Union and Confederate soldiers. The residents of Utoy Cemetery range from African American slaves to Revolutionary War veterans to Atlanta’s first physician.

Harmony Grove Cemetery

The small Harmony Grove Cemetery in Buckhead encompasses less than one acre and contains 171 graves dating back to 1870. Only 40 of these graves are marked with traditional inscribed headstones. The last burial at this cemetery took place in 1982. Probably the most shocking notable residents of this tiny cemetery are the great-grandparents of actress Julia Roberts.

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I'm Paige, an Atlanta-based travel blogger at PaigeMindsTheGap.com. I'm passionate about events happening in Atlanta and traveling the South. Check out PaigeMindsTheGap.com for more local travel stories and tips.

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