Sunday, November 24, 2013

Exploring Atlanta’s Past-Oakland Cemetery


On November 23, 2013, researchers visited Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia.
When one first passes through the arches of the cemetery and they take their first look around, it is as if you stepped through a time portal into the past. 

You can feel the sense of history, and the emotions of those who interned their loved ones within this beautiful cemetery.  Important Atlanta milestones are represented at Oakland, from early builders, to Civil War soldiers, to leaders of industry, to Civil Rights pioneers, no matter where you turn, history surrounds you.  It is a shining example of the “rural garden” cemetery movement of the 19th century.  The garden cemetery featured winding paths, large shade trees, flowers, and shrubs, and appealing vistas. The garden cemetery concept was a forerunner of public park development in America.  Today, Oakland Cemetery is still used as a park for the community and is a valued green space in Atlanta.  It is also a repository for stunning art and architecture.  Elaborate mausoleums, soaring sculptures and effusive inscriptions speak of an age when the bereaved found consolation in extravagant expression.  Impressive art and architecture can be seen in many styles: Victorian, Greek Revival, Gothic, Neo-classical, Egyptian and Exotic Revival. Several mausoleums feature stained glass windows from Tiffany Studios. Bronze urns over six feet high were cast at Gorham Manufacturing Company in New York, the first art foundry in America.

Oakland offers several different tours to their guests based on the season, and we were privileged to take part in their "Spirits and Symbols" tour, which covers most of the grounds and the tour guide points out the various graves of historical figures and provides stories about those who are residents on the grounds.
As we were taking the tour, there was no thought (or talk) about paranormal claims, until we got to the confederate soldier and African-American sections of the cemetery.  As the tour guide stood at the "Lion of Atlanta (which is a monument to the 3000+ unknown confederate soldiers), " I began to get that uneasy feeling of being watched or if someone was staring at me.  As usual, when I looked around nobody was there, but from that point until we left that area, I had the same feeling.


Later when we got back to our hotel and I did a little bit more research into the location, I found several paranormal groups who have conducted investigations at this same area and who have documented some great cases.  You can read about this on the main page for this location (See link below).
There is a lot of history at this location, and if you are in the Atlanta area, we highly recommend taking the time to visit the location.  We wished that we had more time to spend with the tour guides and to take some additional tours, but due to the weather, this was just not possible in late November.


For more information about this location, please visit the Location Page for Oakland Cemetery.

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