Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, GA, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Oakland Cemetery

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Beneath the veil of moss covered ancient bearded live oak trees, which casts an abundance of shadows upon the paved and dirt roads leading to memorialized, lonely departed loved ones resting in peace lies a picturesque, ethereal, Southern Gothic style, Bonaventure Cemetery; located in Thunderbolt, GA, east of Savannah, GA.

Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the oldest, most popular, most historical cemetery's for locals to stroll through a breathtaking and open-air art gallery and for tourists to capture photo after photo of remarkable stone, marble and granite sculptures. A profusion of angels and cherubs and even underground crypts are scattered about the grounds where inscriptions are written on the faces of stone showcasing heartfelt notes, birth dates and departed dates.

History is throughout this cemetery just as with any cemetery; ghost stories are sometimes repeated until they become legends, and legends themselves are buried here from artistic talents to creators of science to those who have served our country from days gone by. Take a stroll through the images I captured from my latest visit to Bonaventure and see for yourself the beauty that encapsulates the graves... Some of the images below were actually taken (and are noted) from April 5, 2012.


"I gazed awe-stricken as one new - arrived from another world. Bonaventure is called a graveyard, a town of the dead, but the few graves are powerless in such a depth of life. The rippling of living waters, the song of birds, the joyous confidences of flowers, the calm, un-disturbable grandeur of the oaks, mark this place of graves as one of the Lord's most favored abodes of life and light." ~~ John  Muir~~ from the book - A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf - published in 1916 - 2 years after Mr. Muir passed on.

Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GABonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA At the entrance of Bonaventure Cemetery.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

This obelisk stands at one of the many starting points at Bonaventure.

My best friend, Shannon being silly before our stroll through Bonaventure Cemetery. Shannon is a Social Studies teacher so she loves the history of this place and I love going with her to take photographs of most all that we see. The history of Bonaventure Cemetery is certainly astounding!

Many resting places have signs that read, "Do Not Service." The grass grows taller, the weeds thicker, and nobody seems to ever visit these particular areas to pay their respects. I found this scene so sad because the cemetery will not take care of several areas because when the person died, their loved ones had a choice to pay for 'perpetual care' and the family chose not to do so. Today, new resting places are taken care of because of lifetime perpetual care that is a given when one rests here.

Gukenheimer Family Resting Grounds. This mausoleum is a giant in comparison to the other markers nearby and it stands at attention with the moss draped curtains of moss on the old oak trees surrounding the area.

Symbolism of the wife leaning on the husband for support. There are Jewish graves scattered throughout Bonaventure and there is even a particular area designated for them.

Large pillars outline the Adler Family Resting Grounds.

This is directly behind the above shot - the Palefsky Family Resting Grounds - another 'Do Not Service' family plot.

1877 P. M. Kolluck Family Resting Grounds.

The winds that blow the moss must be an eerie sight at night.

A beautiful angel watches over a mother and father; Mary and Peter Schafer. It amazes me how weather and time has changed the facade of the angel; however, her wings have barely aged.

Mary was 39 when she passed away and Peter was 61; both were so very young.


Noble A. Hardee and Ann Margaret Hardee

Shannon stops to read everything about history.


Many of the graves are surrounded by wrought iron fencing that have aged over time; rust and discoloration has set in and moss drapes most of them.

Bonaventure Cemetery sits on the banks of the Wilmington River.

Corinne Elliott Lawton (September 21, 1846 -  January 24, 1877, at 7:40 a.m.). 

Read Corinne's story here:

She did not throw herself in the Savannah River as some believed.

Corinne died at home, in bed, with her family around her; probably from Yellow Fever as my research has discovered.

Jesus looks over to Corinne as he stands behind her. Jesus' statue is one of the very few that actually have pupils engraved in the statue.

I soaked up the opportunity to take photos of this statue of Jesus.



There are 11 people resting in peace behind this pyramid shaped monument:

John D. Mongin, (November 13, 1833), Mrs. Sarah Mongin, (1816), David John Mongin, (1823), Mrs. Sarah Blodgett, (1833), Edward W. Mongin, (1813), David J. Mongin, Jr., (1815), Jane J. Mongin, (1821), Sarah Mongin, (1822), Benjamin Blodgett, (1827), Joseph Blodgett, (1831), Sarah M. Blodgett, (1840).


General Robert Houston Anderson - 1835-1888.

If you look closely, you will notice a haze of color at the ANDERSON wording to the left of this shot and to the right; however, the sun is not beaming on this area; it is all in a shadow, so what is the explanation for the haze? I only edited this shot a slight bit and did not add the haze - it is on the original as well.

Visit this link to read more about General Robert Houston Anderson:

On April 5, 2012, Shannon and I visited Bonaventure and ... well my camera would not work on the right side of this statue. I tried three separate times to take a shot of this statue on that date, but we both got so spooked that we went running out of there. Very odd to say the least, but when we found this statue again, we wanted to see if my camera would work and surprisingly it did. 

There were some really hurtful prickly thorns in this area that stuck to the inside of my sandal and then as I was trying to get them out of my sandal, I stepped on two that Shannon had to pull out of my foot and toe.





Bonaventure's most popular grave site for tourists to visit is Little Gracie Watson's. Gracie's statue is made of marble and has an uncanny resemblance with her chubby cheeks and sharply-cut bangs as she sits beside a tree trunk wrapped in a vine as a flower lays in her lap and her hand wrapped around it; she wears a high neck frilly collar, a buttoned sailor dress and spat boots.


The writing on the left of this shot on the marker shares Gracie's poignant story:

"Little Gracie Watson was born in 1883, the only child of her parents. Her father was manager of the Pulaski House, one of Savannah’s leading hotels, where the beautiful and charming little girl was a favorite with the guests. Two days before Easter, in April 1889, Gracie died of pneumonia at the age of six. In 1890, when the rising sculptor, John Walz, moved to Savannah, he carved from a photograph this life-sized, delicately detailed marble statue, which for almost a century has captured the interest of all passersby."

The Gracie Watson Burial Site is located at Lot 99 in Section E, off of Mullryne Way.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Little Gracie Watson's statue at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GALittle Gracie Watson's statue at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, GA Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

The first time I saw the Taliaferro's Family Plot with this angel's broken wings and broken fingers, I thought she was standing beside a piano, but as you can see, she is actually standing beside a cross that is raised by pillars.

The above inscription is on the cross in the shot right above this one.

Remembering the Veterans of the United States of America.


In Memory of all veterans of the United States of America Missing in Action in all wars.

Remembering the Holocaust Victims

Here lieth a third of the ashes of 344 cremated sacred souls. Victims of the Nazis, including the remains of Schmul, son of Y’Cheel Szcerkowski who was killed on the third of Nison 5705 (March 17, 1945) and brought here from Alem Hanover, Germany.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.


Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Julia Denise Backus Smith
August 12, 1946
December 22, 2003

Humble, Brave, Beautiful, Determined.
Deep in her Faith.
Julie served her fellow man
regardless of race, walk or worth.
Julie was her family's "rock"
She's sorely missed, dearly cherished.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.


Savannah, GA

12 October 2013

The Savannah River from River Street sidewalk.

Old buildings along River Street in Savannah make for (in my humble opinion) great black and white shots.



There is a sign (as shown above) that states, "No parking any time," but this sign does not stop folks from parking here...

Cobblestone streets are everywhere in Savannah - I love it!

River Street is to the left and the Savannah River is to the right in this shot.


An artist painting.

The Savannah River Queen taking passengers on a cruise.

The sky looks so different compared from the east to the west as in the below shot.



5 April 2012

Forsyth Park

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.

Photograph taken on April 5, 2012.



Kevin SpaceyKevin Spacey Thursday, November 20, 1997, took me to Savannah, GA to stargaze at the Savannah Civic Center, the site of the premiere of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," where I photographed Kevin Spacey, who played Jim Williams, when I worked for my college newspaper as the Editor. My heart was pounding when I snapped this shot of Mr. Spacey - he had just looked the other way when I pressed my shutter button.

The above and next four shots were taken with a Canon film camera. 

John Berendt - author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Jack Thompson, played Sonny Seiler in the movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Lady Chablis, played herself in the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 

I snapped this shot of her at the movie screening in 1997."

Paul Hipp, played Joe Odum in the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," was also at the movie premier where I took this shot of him.



Oakland Cemetery is located just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Atlanta where many tall statues from the Victorian, Greek Revival, Gothic, Neo-classical, Egyptian and Exotic Revival era cascade the city's skyline and where ancient oak trees line many of the sidewalks as one strolls through the area of those resting.

Lion of the Confederacy

"Sunday in the Park" at Oakland Cemetery brought out old cars, skeletons from the closet, costumes and an opportunity for me to take some photographs of the gorgeous stained glass windows from Tiffany Studios found in several mausoleums where the doors were open to the public during this once a year event.







This nice gent is all dressed up for the costume contest.



This lady made this entire costume.









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