Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bonaventure Cemetery

The residence of Bonaventure began in 1762.  It was a 600 acre estate located about 3 1/2 miles from the Savannah colony.   The first Bonaventure Plantation burned in 1771.  It was soon replaced with a brick structure. The second house burned somewhere between 1803 and 1817.   The "story" about it says that when the fire started, the owner was having a dinner party.  He was informed by house staff they needed to vacate.  He then asked his guests to pick up the table/ or their wine glasses and proceed onto the lawn where they continued with their party while watching the fire.  Somehow, I doubt this.  The property was sold 1846 to establish a cemetery.

Angel on the gate post.
Bonaventure has long been known for the massive live oaks with the arched limbs, covered in moss.  Many are over 250 years old, having been planted by the second owner.

                                                                 Little Gracie Watson

"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." From

Gracie, some say, can still be seen as a blue orb, moving about the upper floor of the bank that replaced her home.  Because police kept getting calls that someone was in the building, the currant owners have installed a pink light so Gracie's blue orb can't be seen.

The bank from our Ghost Walk.

 When the cemetery first opened, some Savannah citizens had their deceased relatives relocated from other burials spots to be interred here.  As time went on, it became a game of keeping up with the Jones on which family had the biggest and most impressive statues.  There was a statute passed that only graves purchased before 1943 can have more than one monument. 

You're right if you are a fan of  Midnight in the garden of Good and Evil,   that this is the cemetery featured in the both the book and the movie and where "that statue" used to live.   

The 50 inch tall " Bird Girl", who had been standing for nearly 50 years, drew such  attention after the book and the movie it was moved to the Telfair  Museum of Art.

The Wilmington River flows by  the back of the cemetery.  Some say this is the river Johnny Mercer had in mind when he wrote "Moon River".   He's here too, resting along with other family members. He also wrote "Old Black Magic", "Come Rain or Come Shine",  "In the Cool, Cool, Cool, of the Evening" and my favorite, "Days of Wine and Roses"

We were here about 90 minutes.  There were few people milling about. A couple of others, like me, taking pictures.  The trees are enormous and covered in moss. To me, it is so picturesque.  It was also very quiet, very haunting, and very beautiful.


Intense Guy said...

Thanks for taking me on a walk through this cemetery via your photographs. The hair on the back of neck rose a bit...

People used to visit cemeteries and actually picnic in them - back in the day... so the sculpture was enjoyed (even if it sounds macbre or morbid).

Kathy said...

Hey! I had a minute or two before leaving for the Pumpkin Patch, so I'm stopping by to catch up.

You know, I've never been to Bonaventure Cemetery! Your pictures are fantastic, by the way. Now I think I'll have to visit it sometime!

I love Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and can remember when the murder and trial actually took place. It was on the news every night!

OK, so now I'm off to the previous post to see what I've missed...

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

This has a seriously creepy vibe! Loved the book.

mary said...

Your pictures are marvelous. Thanks.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

I'm really enjoying this trip with you! Your narrative and photos are marvelous. Thanks so much for sharing!
Enjoy your weekend!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I like cemeteries..and they do them real great in the south. I enjoyed this visit..I love the live Oaks full of moss and the huge stones. What a great place to taker photographs! :)

Beth said...

Amazing photos. Hauntingly beautiful.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...