Margaret Mitchell and Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery

1-Margaret Mitchell's Grave Oakland Cemetery Atlanta GaThe  book, Gone with the Windpublished 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.

2-Margaret Mitchell's Grave Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga 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).3-Margaret Mitchell's Grave Oakland Cemetery Atlanta GaMy walk then took me down a walkway past a memorial statue for Mary Clover Thurman (1829-1916) of an angel sitting.

7-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta GaAnd, then on the next corner I found a mausoleum with its own unique door and stained glass windows.12-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga13-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga14-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta GaHistoric 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 .

9-1-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga-the Shade TreesIn 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.”

17-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga18-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga

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.

21-2-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta GaThese 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.

19-Oakland Cemetery Atlanta Ga

Written and Photographed by Mary Gilmartin, August 30, 2013

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20 Comments

August 30, 2013 · 12:01 am

20 responses to “Margaret Mitchell and Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery

  1. Mary, this is excellent! I didn’t even know her married name was Marsh, and your pictures are wonderful. Thank you so much.

  2. So many great subjects to photograph and just enjoy. Well done!

  3. Pingback: Oakland Cemetery Tour: Dying in Nineteenth Century Atlanta (October 5) | Georgia Globe Design News

  4. Dear Mary,
    what an amazing cemetery. Thanks for your pictures, it has been a great guided tour 😉
    Have a fine weekend
    Klausbernd

  5. Can’t believe all the landscape plantings in this cemetery! I’m used to just seeing miles of grass with a few floral bunches and tree here and there, not these gorgeous roses, blooming trees, hedges, even cacti! I love the history found in these places, but I think I love this enormous landscaping effort even more.

  6. I used to live in Atlanta. Wish I would have thought to visit her!

  7. Cemeteries have an appeal to me in general, but this one certainly have lots of fame and history attached to it. I learn something from your post. 🙂

  8. Fascinating places graveyards, event the smallest. My favourites are Père Lachaise in Paris and Isola di San Michele near Venice. Full of the great, the good and the not so good.

    • Yes, even our smallest cemetery is historical. Never been to the cemetery in Paris but know that Jim Morrison, an American writer, singer and poet for the musical group, Doors, is there; and not sure why.

  9. Great photos, thank you for the tour. I like walking cemeteries but my wife is too creeped out.

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