Everyone in the Savannah area knows about the Bonaventure Cemetrery. It’s been the “premier” cemetery for over 100 years, but it gained world wide fame from what locals call The Book…better know as John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. But there’s a lot more to Bonaventure Cemetery than a book and movie location.
Bonaventure Cemetery was used as a burial ground as early as 1794, when Governor Tattnall buried a relative there. The cemetery is the final resting place of local and national figures alike. Johnny Mercer, Conrad Aiken, and the Trosdal plot, famous for “The Bird Girl” statue now housed in the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jack Leigh, the photographer who took the picture of the statue on the cover of The Book, is also laid to rest in Bonaventure.
|photo from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/classics/mercer_house/5.html|
Though many claim it is just as haunted as the rest of Savannah, the fact remains that Bonaventure is a beautiful, peaceful place full of history. There are, of course, plenty of tours you can take, but you can also stop by the small visitors center for free information you can use for a self guided tour, provided by The Bonaventure Historical Society. You can explore area history through the stones, enjoy the huge Live Oaks draped in Spanish moss, and take in the view from the banks of the beautiful Wilmington River.
|photo from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~langolier/bonaventure.html|
Bonaventure Cemetery is a graceful and historical gem! Make sure you visit on your next trip to Savannah. Take a picnic, enjoy the view, explore a little history, and feel like a local for a while. See you soon!