Savannah, Georgia, is home to several historic cemeteries that are worth visiting for their beauty, architecture, and historical significance.
Here are some of the cemeteries you should consider visiting in Savannah:
This cemetery is one of the most famous cemeteries in Savannah, known for its natural beauty and Southern Gothic charm.
The cemetery was established in 1846 on a 160-acre plantation and was originally called Evergreen Cemetery. It was renamed Bonaventure in 1868 and became a public cemetery in 1907. The cemetery is known for its beautiful landscaping, with oak trees draped in Spanish moss and a variety of flora and fauna.
Bonaventure Cemetery has become a popular tourist attraction due to its beautiful scenery and its association with the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" by John Berendt. The book features several notable residents buried in the cemetery, including Johnny Mercer, Conrad Aiken, and Gracie Watson. The cemetery also contains several interesting monuments and sculptures, including the famous "Bird Girl" statue, which was featured on the cover of the book. The statue has since been moved but there is plenty to see in this gorgeous cemetery overlooking the Wilmington River.
For those who want a deep dive into the history we recommend taking a walking tour of the cemetery.
Tip from a local: Bonaventure Cemetery is amazing to visit in March and April when the azaleas are in full bloom!
Colonial Park Cemetery
Colonial Park Cemetery was established in 1750 and was the primary burial ground for the city until 1853. The cemetery is located in the heart of Savannah's historic district and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the most notable aspects of Colonial Park Cemetery is its rich history and the notable people buried there. Many of the city's founding fathers and other important figures are buried in the cemetery, including Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and James Habersham Jr., one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Georgia during the colonial period. The cemetery is also the final resting place of victims of the 1820 Yellow Fever epidemic, which claimed the lives of more than 600 people in Savannah.
Colonial Park Cemetery is known for its unique and ornate grave markers and tombstones. The cemetery features a variety of different styles, including simple stone markers, elaborately carved monuments, and even above-ground vaults. Many of the graves are adorned with intricate carvings and inscriptions, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives and culture of Savannah's early settlers.
Tip from a local: The east wall of the cemetery features a collection of misplaced headstones.
The Catholic Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Savannah, dating back to 1853. It is the final resting place of many prominent citizens of Savannah, including several former mayors, priests, nuns, and other notable figures from the city's history. The cemetery is known for its unique and beautiful statuary, as well as its elaborate mausoleums and crypts.
Laurel Grove Cemetery
Laurel Grove Cemetery was established in 1852 and is divided into the North and South sections.
The North Cemetery is the final resting place of many important African American figures from Savannah's history, including civil rights activist W.W. Law and educator Susie King Taylor. The cemetery is also the site of the African American Civil War Memorial, which honors the service of African American soldiers during the Civil War.
The South Cemetery contains the graves of many notable Savannah residents, including Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA. Other notable figures buried in the cemetery include several former mayors of Savannah, Confederate generals, and members of prominent Savannah families.
Like the other Savannah cemeteries, Laurel Grove is full of interesting gravestone, markers, and statues as well as beautiful landscaping to enjoy as you walk through it.
- Please be respectful to visitors to graves as some of these cemeteries are still active.
- Do not litter or step on graves or do anything to damage the plots.
- Bring mosquito repellent when visiting in the summer months.
Overall, these cemeteries in Savannah, Georgia, offer a glimpse into the city's history, architecture, and culture. Consider visiting one or more of these cemeteries during your stay in Savannah.