Pam Henman, marketing and public relations manager with the Historic Oakland Foundation, joins hosts Todd Schnick and Bryan Nonni on the Around Atlanta edition of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio show to discuss Oak Land Cemetery and its various events.
Henman is an Atlanta local who lives in the Cabbagetown neighborhood near Oakland Cemetery. Historic Oakland Foundation manages the Oakland Cemetery, and it also works in partnership with the city to preserve, restore, enhance and share Oakland Cemetery. As Atlanta’s oldest public burial ground, Oakland Cemetery was established in 1850. It has about 70,000 people buried across the 40 acres located in the Grant Park neighborhood of downtown Atlanta.
“Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place for some of Atlanta’s first settlers, business people, governors, mayors, civil war soldiers, notables and regular people as well. We have everyone from Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first black mayor, to Bobby Jones, the golfer, and Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind,” explained Henman. The cemetery houses so many people that there is even a plot of over 7,000 unmarked graves, which nobody knows anything about. She continues, “Our executive director likes to say if you built the railroad, slept under the railroad or road the railroad, you could be buried at Oakland Cemetery.”
The cemetery features a recently opened greenhouse called the Beaumont Alan Greenhouse. Opened in November 2015, this greenhouse is the first functioning greenhouse on the property in 40 years. The first greenhouse opened in Oakland around 1872, and it was a way for families to spend the day at the cemetery during the Victorian era , growing flowers and other plants and placing them on their loved ones grave sites.
To learn more about the numerous upcoming events at Oakland Cemetery, including this February’s African-American History Tours and upcoming music festivals, click play on the podcast player at the top of this post.
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