One of the most visited places in Savannah is Bonaventure Cemetery. While it is not in the historic district there is no way you could make a website about visiting Savannah and not include Bonaventure Cemetery. Discover Historic America offers guided tours of Bonaventure Cemetery. It is so large, trust us, you'll wish you would have taken a tour if you don't.
The History of Bonaventure Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery is located on the ground which was originally a plantation just south of the city of Savannah. The original plantation was owned by John Mullryne. William H. Wiltberger, whose father bought the Plantation from Josiah Tattnall in 1846, formed the Evergreen Cemetery Company on June 12, 1868. On July 7th, 1907, the city of Savannah purchased the land and the cemetery, renaming it to Bonaventure Cemetery.
Visit their website, linked to the right if you're interesting in reading more about the history of Bonaventure Cemetery.
Visiting Bonaventure Cemetery
Today, Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the most visited locations in and around historic Savannah. The grounds are widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in all of our country. The old growth oaks covered in Spanish Moss and the Victorian grave markers contribute to Bonaventure's beauty. You will walk down dusty lanes, the dead buried on either side of you. It can be overwhelming at times. The experience of spending time in Bonaventure Cemetery has brought many people to tears. It is a very spiritual experience.
If you are visiting Bonaventure Cemetery in the spring or summer make sure to bring water and sunscreen. The temperatures can reach into the triple digits at times. The humidity can make it feel like you are walking through a swimming pool at times. You will need to stay rehydrated. It is best to avoid the mid-day heat and sun when visiting Bonaventure. In the summer, the best time to visit the cemetery is in the morning, before temperatures rise. Bonaventure Cemetery opens at 8am every morning, so you can get there pretty early.
There are a number of well-known individuals laid to rest inside the walls of Bonaventure Cemetery. Perhaps the most well know is Johnny Mercer. The famous American song-writer is laid to rest in a part of the cemetery close to the Bull River. His grave is one of the most visited graves in Bonaventure Cemetery. Another well-known person to be buried in Bonaventure is Conrad Aiken. Aiken grew up in Savannah where he wrote some of his novels and poems.
Another person who is buried in Bonaventure, who gets a lot of attention, is Little Gracie Watkins. Gracie died when she was only six years old. Her father had a sculpture carve a true-to-life statue of Gracie for her grave. Gracie's burial site is probably the most visited grave site in Bonaventure. The wrought iron fence surrounding his grave is almost always adorned with flowers, stuffed animals and other trinkets that would make a child happy.
Getting to Bonaventure Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery is located just south of the city of Savannah. If you have use of a GPS unit, type in 330 Bonaventure Road. This address will take you right to the entrance of the Cemetery. Check out the map to the right for more information about how to get to Bonaventure Cemetery.
Interested in taking a tour of Bonaventure Cemetery?
We are soo confident that you'll love your tour that if you don't we'll give you your money back. Seriously!
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Or Call our Office at 504-210-8540.