Colonial Park Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia

We took a day-trip to lovely old Savannah in the rain. With a series of road maps and our rental car, we made our way across the state border (and only got lost once!). Once in the city, parking was a bit hard to come by. It’s a very pedestrian-friendly city, with almost every block in the historic district having large beautiful squares. The city was designed by James Oglethorpe as a series of land plots built around main squares (there are 24 in the historic district where we visited) along with space for public buildings and churches.

Because of the rain, we did not get to explore as much as we would have liked to. We caught just one cemetery within walking distance, the Colonial Park Cemetery. Although it is Savannah’s second cemetery, the first cemetery is now located where a high riser building is.

The main entrance to the cemetery is on the corner of Oglethorpe and Abercorn Streets. Here is the large stone entrance, erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution:

From Colonial Park Cemetery

Immediately through the gate is a historical marker describing the cemetery and some of its famous burials:

From Colonial Park Cemetery

During the 19th century, the cemetery had become overgrown and abandoned. Efforts to turn the cemetery into a “park” to preserve the stones and the land resulted in landscaping the area, so now paths and trees dominate the space, along with the gravestones and vaults:

From Colonial Park Cemetery

Here is a marker informing visitors that hundreds of Savannah residents are buried here in unmarked graves from the Great Yellow Fever epidemic of 1820:

From Colonial Park Cemetery

I was surprised to see the amount of people originally from Rhode Island that were buried within the cemetery. Perhaps there were more direct connections between Providence and Savannah. Certainly, both cities were more tolerant of diversity – Rhode Island preached religious tolerance, and Savannah welcomed Jews, Irish Catholics, French Huguenots, etc. Perhaps there were also direct trade routes that encouraged migration to and from the two cities as well.

Here is the gravestone of Edward Greene Malbone, a Rhode Island native, who was a world-famous miniaturist:

From Colonial Park Cemetery

Perhaps another connection can be found… I came across the stone of Theodore Nash, whose carving bears a remarkable similarity to the designs of the Stevens shop of Newport, RI. Their stones were imported across the United States, so perhaps this is originally from their shop:

From Colonial Ceme…

I love this image of the broken urn against the backdrop of an oak covered in Spanish moss:

Despite the rain, it was a lovely site to visit.

Leave a Reply