Oakland Cemetery

Atlanta’s storied past, preserved for the future.

A deeper exploration into Atlanta’s past should involve a trip to Oakland Cemetery. Though this final resting place was founded as a mere six acres on the outskirts of Atlanta, time caused the property to grow to a final size of 48 acres, and the slow spread of the city around Oakland has yielded a tranquil space in the center of town (more specifically, in the Grant Park neighborhood) that’s brimming with history.

Today, more than 70,000 people are interred at Oakland, comprising a complete spectrum of Atlanta life from across the decades: politicians, celebrities, captains of industry, soldiers, and representatives from every practically every community in the last century and a half can be found here. Though the last plot was sold in 1884, new burials still take place on a regular basis — many old Atlanta families have large family plots at Oakland, as does the city itself (the plot that now holds former mayor Maynard Jackson, for example, was contributed by the city).

Oakland was never intended to be a “perpetual care cemetery,” and so maintenance of the individual plots was left to the families who owned them. As a result, many areas of the cemetery were actively falling into disrepair until the 1970s, when the Historic Oakland Foundation was established. This group has dedicated its efforts to oversee the upkeep and restoration of the property; they’ve done an amazing job at making sure this piece of Atlanta is preserved for future generations.

Points of Interest

  • If you enter Oakland Cemetery through the southwest entrance, you’ll be in what were the original six acres. It’s in this area where you’ll find some of the older plots on the grounds, including the grave of James Nissen, a traveling medical doctor who fell ill and died while visiting Atlanta in the 1850s — as well as Oakland’s first permanent resident.
  • Also on the original six acres: the mausoleum of real estate investor Jasper Smith — complete with a statue of Smith himself; the Kontz Memorial, which is the only example of Egyptian Revival to be found in Oakland; and the grave of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, with its perpetual collection of golf memorabilia deposited by fans.
  • The Confederate section of the cemetery is an interesting reminder of Atlanta’s past. Oakland was still fairly new during the Civil war, and some of the largest military hospitals in the South were only a half mile away. Both during and after the war, some 7,000 burials of Confederate troops took place in Oakland, and to this day, more than 3,000 of these graves are unknown.
  • The New Jewish Section (new, as in they were acquired by the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation in the late 1800s) is a favorite section for religious history enthusiasts. The collection of stones reflect a variety of Jewish cultures that were present in Atlanta at the time, including Orthodox Eastern European immigrants, and blends of German-Jewish cultures at various stages of adoption into American culture.
  • The Black Section of Oakland provides an outstanding look into the history of African American influence in Atlanta; some of Atlanta’s most prominent African American citizens’ final resting places can be found here. The most striking element many people notice on visiting this part of the cemetery is that there are hardly any headstones or permanent markers to be found, as many of them were made of wood and have since succumbed to the elements. Still, this portion is rife with history that extends back to the Civil War.
  • Aspiring historical detectives will have a field day exploring the abundance of monuments and mausolea that dot the property — each with its own distinct architecture, design, and symbolism. A favorite is the Austell Mausoleum, which rests atop a hill near the southwest corner of the property. This elaborate piece, constructed by Alfred Austell in the 1880s, cost an estimated $90,000 at the time — more than $3 million in today’s dollars.
  • Fans of literature (and of Atlanta’s biggest contribution to the written word) can find the grave of Margaret Mitchell Marsh, who penned Gone With the Wind.

248 Oakland Ave. SE
oaklandcemetery.com

Homes for Sale near Oakland Cemetery - Atlanta GA

Welcome to your top Oakland Cemetery and surrounding Atlanta neighborhood real estate resource. See today's newest homes for sale near Oakland Cemetery and the Grant Park neighborhood in Atlanta, updated daily from the Atlanta MLS. We also feature Atlanta condos and Atlanta townhomes for sale by location, size, zip code, and price. Let this website be your local Atlanta real estate guide. For information about homes, condos & lofts for sale near Oakland Cemetery in Atl GA or to schedule a private home showing, contact your expert Atlanta Georgia real estate agents today.

Homes for Sale near Oakland Cemetery November 18, 2017
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Listing information last updated on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 4:22 AM.