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Laurel Grove Cemeter(ies)

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Less heralded than Bonaventure Cemetery on Whitemarsh Island, but nearly as beautiful and free from almost any tourist presence, the twin cemeteries of Laurel Grove North and Laurel Grove South are nice places to spend a quiet afternoon among the dead.

Gate Laurel Grove

Laurel Grove was established in 1853, after the more central Colonial Park Cemetery was deemed too full and closed to further burials. With plenty of room on Savannah’s western side, the city fathers split their new cemetery into two separate sections: north for whites, south for blacks.

They’re really two separate cemeteries, with different entrances. We didn’t know that, and spent a long time walking around Laurel Grove North, looking for a southern section. But we never found anything, and instead spent the afternoon admiring the gorgeous tombstones clearly erected for rich families. There was nobody there, save for one group of Girl Scouts hovering around the grave of Juliette Gordon Low.

The next day, having being corrected by amused friends, we drove to Laurel Grove South. Just as haunting and beautiful as its twin to the north, but completely different in feeling, without nearly as many glorious, towering monuments. Nor as many Girl Scouts. We might have preferred the southern section, though, for the melancholy and humble vibe of its anonymous slave section.

If you’re looking for a lovely, desolate place to spend a few hours in Savannah, Laurel Grove might fit the bill. I’m not sure why, but visiting cemeteries always brings me a sense of solace.

Locations on our Savannah Map: Laurel Grove North | Laurel Grove South

The Complete Guide to Cemetery Symbolism
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Pictures of Laurel Grove North:

Dead Girl Scout
Aisle 9 Cemetery
Angel Face
Cage Grave
Bling Grave
Cemetery Savannah
Cemetery Gate
Eypt Grave
Juliette-Gordon-Low-Grave
Grave-Juliette-Gordon-Low
Sad Girl Scouts
Grave Yard
Handle Grave
Open Grave
Hang in there Angel
Laurel-Grove-Cemetery
Little Grave
Marines Cemetery
My Wife
My Husband
Savannah Cemetery
Real Angel
Very First Web Url
Soldier-Confederate-Uniform
Grave Unknown Soldier
Confederate-Graves-Savannah
Baby Land
Baby Land Savannah

Now pictures from Laurel Grove Cemetery South:

Savannah Obelisk
Slaves Burial
Slave Cemetery
Laurel-Cemetery-South
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Three Graves Savannah
Stone Roeses
Cemetery
Gates Savannah
Fake Flowers
Little Roots Guys
Speed Smart Funeral
Strange Grave
No Strangers in Savannah
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January 26, 2011 at 10:31 am Comments (7)

Colonial Park Cemetery

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A historical marker in Savannah’s Colonial Park Cemetery reports that “nearly 700” victims of the 1820 yellow fever epidemic are buried there. In fact, exactly six-hundred and sixty-six people died of the disease. But the church had issues with putting the Number of the Beast on a sign, and demanded the figure be rounded up.

Colonial

That’s just one of the disquieting anecdotes from the Colonial Park Cemetery, established around 1750 and closed to burials just before the Civil War. Another concerns the original size of the cemetery. Today, it fits nicely into a tidy square bounded by Abercorn, Oglethorpe, Habersham and Perry, but it used to be much bigger. As Savannah grew, property developers began buying up the cemetery’s prime real estate. Since digging up and moving bodies is so troublesome, corpses were left where they were; only the headstones were moved. The result is that every building surrounding Colonial Park is built on top of the desecrated dead.

A number of prominent Georgians are buried in Colonial Park, though I’ll confess to have never heard of any of them. Someone called Button Gwinnett has the most impressive monument (and the coolest name). After the Civil War, occupying Union troops were garrisoned there, and some of the soldiers amused themselves by defacing tombstones, changing dates and names. I found the gravestone of a woman who supposedly died when she was twelve, but had a son who passed a year later at the age of fourteen.

A green, creepy oasis of death in the center of Savannah, Colonial Park Cemetery is the perfect place for a stroll on cold, sunny, winter afternoons.

Location on our Savannah Map

Car Rental Savannah

Colonial Cemetery Savannah
Cemetery Pic Nic
Broken tombstone
Cemetery Fence
Cartoon Cemetery
Dreamy Tree
Cemetery Savannah
Fall Tomb Stone
Colonial Cemetery Savannah
Dead Old Lady
Grave Stone Close Up
Dream Magic Savannah
Fall in Savannah
Fenced Grave
Gwinneth Grave
Button Gwinneth
Signature Declaration
Ghost Tree
Tree From Mars
Savannah Tour Tombstone
Sacred Tomb
Fondled Tomb Stone
Line of Graves
Mass Crave
Maxwell Savannah
Nature Cemetery
Old Greek in Savannah
Skull Pirate Savannah
Pirate Grave Savannah
Tombstone Wall Savannah
Savannah Flag Cemetery
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December 21, 2010 at 10:41 pm Comments (8)
Laurel Grove Cemeter(ies) Less heralded than Bonaventure Cemetery on Whitemarsh Island, but nearly as beautiful and free from almost any tourist presence, the twin cemeteries of Laurel Grove North and Laurel Grove South are nice places to spend a quiet afternoon among the dead.
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