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Off the Beaten Path: Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta

Learn Southern history from the 'residents' of this Victorian cemetery in the heart of Downtown Atlanta.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.5 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  Oakland Cemetery was established in 1850 as a public cemetery for Atlanta residents, travelers and paupers. It is the city’s oldest... more »

Tips:  How to Get to Oakland: Oakland Cemetery is located at 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312. From I-75/85 take I-20 East and exit on ... more »

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Points of Interest

Originally called Atlanta or City Cemetery, Oakland was renamed in 1872 because of the many oak trees on the property. The Water Oaks at the entrance to Oakland are what is left of a grand line. At the end of their life cycle, these trees will not be replaced due to their destructive root system.

In the 1800s, families would tend gardens on the ... More

2. Bell Tower

The Bell Tower building was constructed in 1899 on property that was once a farmhouse where General Hood directed Confederate forces during the Battle of Atlanta.

The building was originally designed with an office and chapel on the first floor and the sexton’s (keeper of the cemetery) living quarters on the second floor. The basement was used to... More

3. Confederate Obelisk

During the Civil War, Atlanta was the location of the largest military hospitals in the area, and more than 7,000 Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate are buried at Oakland Cemetery. After the war, soldiers from the Atlanta Campaign who were hastily buried on the battlefield were exhumed and brought to Oakland. An obelisk quarried from... More

4. African American Burial Grounds

The African American section of Oakland Cemetery is a lesson in the journey for equal rights. When the cemetery was created, there was a Slave Square designated for African Americans.

In 1866, the City of Atlanta opened five acres of the cemetery as a place where African Americans could buy burial space in addition to the Slave Square. Many of... More

5. Bobby Jones Grave

Bobby Jones is considered the greatest golfer who ever lived, and the only golfer to complete the Grand Slam of four major titles in the same year. In 1930, he won the British Amateur, The British Open, the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open. After retiring from amateur golf, Jones founded and designed Augusta National Golf Club in 1933, home of the... More

Six Feet Under is a Pub and Fish House across the street from Oakland Cemetery and the perfect end to a tour of Oakland. The rooftop bar was recently voted one of the Top 30 American Outdoor Bars by Travel + Leisure magazine. Everything at Six Feet Under is good, but we especially like the tacos and Crab Cake Sliders.
437 Memorial... More