Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Bonaventure Cemetary

 The Bonaventure Cemetary is famous for a couple of reasons. One, it is known for the large historical section filled with elaborate Victorian monuments. Two, when the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was published, the cover photo was of a monument called the Bird Girl which was in the cemetery. That book was so popular, that the Bird Girl was moved from the cemetery to the contemporary Art museum to protect her. So I was interested and excited to go and Tiffany was especially interested. Tiffany is working on her doctorate and her area of specialty is burial monuments and practices. And honestly, I've always liked old cemeteries. My mom used to take us to them when we saw one. So they don't creep me out in the least.
The cemetery looks especially cool because of all the trees and drooping moss. It's very atmospheric. There are two entrance gates. The main one and the Jewish one. Above is a photo of the main one. There are a lot of photos in here, if you aren't interested you might want to bow out now.
These are a type that aren't really done anymore. They are called cradle graves or bed graves where they grave is outlined with some sort of built up stone. Some of them have plants or flowers planted in them.

This is the kind of thing you don't see anymore that they are known for. These large statues. This is an angel laying a flower on a cross. They are really kind of cool.
This is Gracie. Her monument is famous. Her parents ran a hotel/boarding house and Gracie was their only child and a great favorite of the patrons. She passed away and her parents paid a sculptor to make a life-size statute of her from a photograph. She also has  cradle grave with a plant in it. She is made of marble and Tiffany would tell you that it doesn't hold up very well. But this particular grave yard accepts donations and has a group of people who maintain these monuments, so she is in good shape. We were in other grave yards where that is not the case.

 Elaborate carved flowers on raised tombs.

A lot of symbology in the things that are carved on the various surfaces. Some of them have to do with religion or death. Some are cautionary to the living or show what a an example the deceased was to the rest of us.

Some large monuments were throughout the cemetery.

There are a lot of family plots with little fences and gates around them.

 There are some war heroes here. Some from the civil war.

The drape is symbolic of the life being finished.

Little lambs are often on a child's grave.

 Tiffany was impressed by this monumental marker. Different things were carved on all the surfaces.

These connected stones were interesting

There were several mausoleums.

Conrad Aiken was a famous poet from the area.

Johnny Mercer, the famous songwriter, won 4 Academy Awards and helped found Capitol Records, is a famous hometown son from Savannah. This bench is his marker. The Mercer house involved in the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was from his family.

I felt a kinship to this woman who served as a nurse in WWI.

 Confederate soldiers.

More modern, but I like it.

A symbolic handclasp.

The Jewish gate.
I have made all my own arrangements for when I die. The style now is much more modest. I have a simple flat metal plaque that is to mark my grave. But after spending time in several cemeteries there, I almost wanted to get something more elaborate. I am not sure what for, they just seemed cool. But I checked out a little bit on line the costs, and it's horribly expensive.

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