Oakland Cemetery was established in 1850 as a public cemetery for Atlanta residents, travelers and paupers. It is the city’s oldest... more » landmark in continuous use and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Cemeteries of the day were social hubs and a gathering spot for the living, as well as burial places for those who have passed on. Victorian cemeteries were referred to as rural gardens and the forerunner of today’s public parks. They were often the only green manicured location within the city and families routinely visited relatives on the weekends, tended gardens on the family plot and enjoyed picnics during their visit. To this day, Oakland Cemetery is one of the largest and most beautiful green spaces in Atlanta and hosts several popular special events throughout the year.
Oakland is set on 48 acres with more than 70,000 ‘residents’ from all walks of life. Originally African Americans were buried in segregated sections. Due to special consecration of their burial grounds, there is also a separate area for Jewish graves. There are approximately 7,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery, and a Potter’s field for those who could not afford burial. A tour of Oakland is an intriguing history lesson of Atlanta and includes stories of wealth, power, fame and fortune, as well as segregation, anti-Semitism, war and paupers. Some of the city’s most noteworthy residents are buried at Oakland including the great golfer Bobby Jones, "Gone with the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell, five governors, five Confederate generals, and 27 Atlanta mayors. less «