The book, Gone with the Wind, published in 1936 quickly became a best seller. Afterwards the historical novel was made into a movie that starred Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. The author, Margaret Mitchell, born in Atlanta, Georgia on November 8, 1900 died in Atlanta, Georgia on August 16, 1949. Today I visited her gravesite in Historic Oakland Cemetery, a garden cemetery founded in 1850 located near downtown Atlanta. To learn more you can visit the official state designated trail: Gone with the Wind Trail.
The pale pink rose bushes were in full bloom on either side of the headstone for the author of Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (Marsh) and her husband, John Robert (Marsh).My walk then took me down a walkway past a memorial statue for Mary Clover Thurman (1829-1916) of an angel sitting.
And, then on the next corner I found a mausoleum with its own unique door and stained glass windows.Historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is definitely a garden cemetery full of flowers in bloom with oak trees and magnolias providing shade for the visitors on hot summer days, just like today .
In one corner near the entrance I found the oldest headstone. The cemetery’s first interment was for James Nissen who died on September 22, 1850. Below is a close up of the marker and “a legend about Dr. Nissen that you will find interesting if you take time to read it.”
Below is the Neal Memorial sculpture made of white marble dated 1894. The symbols surrounding the figures are a wreath, a palm branch and a cross representing eternity, spiritual victory and faith. The open book represents a completed life. At the base of the sculpture are the words wife and daughter engraved in stone.
These statues and plates are only just a few of the hundreds of unique headstones and memorials for those who have gone before us. The grounds cover 28 acres which will probably take several hours to tour. Maybe next time I visit I’ll come early in the morning when I can spend more time walking the grounds and take time to go by the Visitor’s Center for a map. Then, I’ll have lunch across the street at the restaurant called Six Feet Under.
I’m grateful they allow cars to drive through this cemetery since it’s so big and I was running late for another appointment. You can park your car and get out to walk around just as long as you pull over far enough for other cars to pass.
Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, August 30, 2013