Bonaventure Cemetery – Good Fortune Comes to Those Who Die

Known as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the entire country, Bonaventure is found on the outskirts of Savannah, bordering the Wilmington River across from Whitemarsh Island. Its name means “Good Fortune,” and those buried on its grounds might certainly consider themselves fortunate. There are worse places to rest in eternal slumber.

Little Gracie

Bonaventure is a place of haunting beauty, where Spanish Moss hangs sorrowfully from every tree, casting broken light onto solemn fields of gravestones. The cemetery is large, and one which you could spend hours exploring, discovering tombstones of exquisite craftsmanship, and other most notable for their peculiarity. There’s one in the form of a broken tree trunk. A grinning marathon runner. Obelisks and gates. Downcast girls holding flowers. Underground crypts. And of course, there’s little Gracie Watson.

Of all Bonaventure’s ghosts, the most famous is that of Gracie Watson. In life, the vivacious daughter of the manager of the Pulaski House had been beloved by neighbors and well-known to the hotel’s guests. But pneumonia wasn’t impressed by Little Gracie’s charms. Pneumonia snuffed her out at the age of six. Her grief-stricken father commissioned a statue to mark her grave, and ever since, there have been rumors of the soft sobbing of a little girl in Bonaventure. The statue supposedly sheds tears, and screams out at night if a flower has been removed.

Besides Gracie, a number of famous people rest their bones in Bonaventure, including Johnny Mercer, Conrad Aiken and Henry R. Jackson. One statue you won’t find there, though, is the Bird Girl statue, which graced the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: it’s been moved to the Telfair Museum of Art, for safekeeping.

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This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Allison Mol

    Looks like someone had fun with the camera today. I do not think it is possible to take a bad picture at Bonaventure. Wonderful images!

  2. Lisa

    Absolutely GORGEOUS!!!! Bonaventure is one of the few places we haven’t visited during our many trips to Savannah – it’s definitely on the list for our next visit after seeing how you have captured its beauty!

  3. Don Teuton

    You guys need to check out Laurel Grove Cemetery. It’s much older than Bonaventure and beautiful in its own right.

  4. Juergen

    Thank you all for the great comments. We love them 🙂 Don – thank you, we def. will check out Laurel Grove.

  5. Dave Davis

     My friend an I just got back from Savannah last week. Bonaventure is on our schedule every time we are there. That’s at least five times.  My favorite city in the south.  We haven’t been to Laurel Grove, But will keep it on my list for the next time. Late February & March is the perfect time to be in Savannah, Weather is usually just right, Not to hot, Not to cold.  We enjoy every minute of our stay.  From Louisville, Kentucky

  6. Ingrid

    One of the photos above caught my attention. It’s the one of John Meyer’s tombstone. His wife was born in Langen, Germany. I wonder which Langen it was. There are several towns with that name. I was born and raised in Langen in Hessen.

  7. PRains

    Bonaventure is such a beautiful place and always on our “must see” list when we visit Savannah. Thanks for sharing these photos. I recognized several of them from past visits. Looks like it was a great day for photography with that pretty sunshine.

  8. Ira David

    The Pedal America crew loved shooting in Savannah and capturing video images of the Bonaventure Cemetery. It’s among my favorite episodes of our first season now airing on Public TV.

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