It's my birthday! We decided to go to Bonaventure Cemetery and take a guided tour. You can go to the cemetery and wander on your own, but we like to have some idea of what it is we're seeing.
A little Bonaventure history...
John Mullryne moved from South Carolina to Georgia in 1753 and began acquiring land. In 1764 he established a home on 600 acres overlooking the Wilmington River and the golden marshes of St. Augustine Creek. A plantation was established in 1785 with cotton as the principle crop.
With the high child mortality rate at the time, several children were buried around the plantation house. In 1802, Mullryne's daughter died. She was married to Josiah Tattnall, and was the first adult to be buried at Bonaventure. After the plantation house burned, a formal cemetery was established there.
It is the final resting place of many famous Savannahians including Pulitzer prize winner Conrad Aiken and lyricist Johnny Mercer.
After I took this photo, my camera battery died, so I attribute most of the following photos to Stephanie. Thanks, Stephanie, for taking such great pics! We also went back a week or so later with Flemming and Lorie when they visited, and I took some additional photos which I have included.
There is a lot of symbolism in his work, which Susan explained to us. It made our visit much more meaningful and I'll look at statues in cemeteries differently from now on.
She said when the lights shine on these at night, they looked rather voodoo-ish.
People leave toys at Christmas or a penny at the gate leading to her grave. Initially there wasn't a fence surrounding her, but vandals have made it necessary. It is said that she doesn't like the fence and can be heard crying. Ghost stories...
John Walz was an amazing sculptor...the details on her shoes and her dress were wonderful. Her face looks like she was an "old soul."
They still buried her in the family plot, although away from the rest of the family and with her back to the statue of Jesus under the imposing arch.
Ed, Stephanie, and Barb with Jim and me. It was a great evening!