Backyard Shots field trip to Historic Oakland Cemetery
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Sunday, July 31,2011
Details of the image
The Richards Mausoleum was built by the H.Q. French company of New York City for Robert H. Richards (1830-1888), a London-born entrepreneur and co-founder of the Atlanta National Bank. The other co-founder was General Alfred Austell who is also buried at Oakland. (view of the Austell mausoleum.)
The spire of this mausoleum is decorated with gargoyles (detail: Richards Gargoyles) that perch on each of the four corners. The gargoyles are carved with the head of a lion, the wings of a bat and eagle's talons. Meant to scare away evil spirits, these ornaments add to the Victorian charm of this elaborately decorated memorial.
Historic Oakland Cemetery
Originally called the Atlanta Graveyard, the initial plot of land was purchased by the City of Atlanta in 1850. Oakland is located east of downtown Atlanta in an area that was rural farmland at the time it was founded. Large US cities of the 19th century typically had crowded, unattractive cemeteries centered in the urban areas. Oakland is an early example of the "rural garden cemetery", designed in a park-like setting landscaped with walking paths and beautiful shady areas to sit and relax.
The cemetery expanded rapidly during and just after the Civil War to accommodate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died during the Battle of Atlanta as well as other action in the area. Many stones marking the dead of the War Between the States dot the grounds and there is also a memorial called the "Lion of Atlanta" which commemorates 3,000 unknown Confederate soldiers.
Oakland Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#76000627) in 1976.