Mary Fernandez with Oakland Cemetery

Mary Fernandez, the special events and volunteer coordinator at Historic Oakland Foundation is in studio for this edition of Around Atlanta on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick discuss the Oakland Cemetery with Fernandez. The group touches on special events, tours, history, beauty and more at Oakland Cemetery.

As the special events and volunteer coordinator, Fernandez handles two major facets of the Historic Oakland Foundation. The first area, special events, is where Fernandez helps bring visitors in to the cemetery. Helping the public get intrigued and introduced to the cemetery is a big part of coordinating special events. The Historic Oakland Foundation has five large-scale special events, including Sunday in the Park, the Run Like Hell 5K, the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland tours, Illumine and Tunes from the Tombs. In addition to other smaller events that take place over the course of the year, these five large-scale events draw in large crowds and are often sold out soon after sales open. If you are interested in any of the events or want to know how to participate, visit The second part of the special events and volunteer coordinator position held by Fernandez is overseeing volunteer organizations.

“None of the special events would be possible without our volunteers,” said Fernandez. “We have almost 300 active volunteers at the cemetery and they volunteer in many different capacities like leading tours and helping with special events. Truly, Oakland couldn’t do what it does without its volunteers.”

Historic Oakland Cemetery was founded around 1850 and rests on 48 acres of open land. It was Atlanta’s first public greenspace and also a Victorian garden cemetery. Designed with the living in mind, the Victorians created a space that would allow them to visit and spend time with their deceased loved ones. Because of the initial design and intention, the Historic Oakland Cemetery has open spaces for picnics, beautiful greenery and opportunities for recreational use.

“Victorians had a much more intimate relationship with death,” explained Hernandez. “Death happened in the home and deceased loved ones were normally cared for by their family members. So, that boundary between life and death was much more blurred than it is today.”

Oakland Cemetery has a rich and complex history that beautifully reflects the city in which it is situated. Infused with Atlanta history and southern culture, Oakland Cemetery is not only stunning, but also historic and impactful.

The next event taking place at Oakland Cemetery is on Valentines Day. Happening on February 14, 2020 from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., Love Stories of Oakland Cemetery is a fun-filled date night in the cemetery. Complete with a tour through the gardens, tales of love stories past and complementary hot chocolate and desserts, Love Stories is a one-of-a-kind date night for the upcoming holiday. Tickets go on sale January 9, 2020 and spaces are limited.

To learn more about the Historic Oakland Foundation and Oakland Cemetery, visit Also make sure to listen to the full interview above.

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and the Historic Oakland Foundation are not associated. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (January/2020)


New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit

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