Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

 Bonaventure Cemetery Visit Savannah in 48 hours

A visit to Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

 

I’ve heard from so many travel stories that when you visit Savannah, coming to the Bonaventure Cemetery is a must visit destination to get a better perspective of Savannah’s history and traditions from the Victorian age to present. I love doing quirky and unusual tours and knew that coming to this famous Southern cemetery would be unlike any other cemeteries in the United States. Not knowing enough about the cemetery or the famous dead in Bonaventure, I decided that the best way to experience this amazing place is to take a tour with an expert who can share some of the wonderful stories and history of this famous place. So I made a tour reservation (You need to book in advance) with Shannon Scott for his fun and informative tours of Bonaventure.

 

Bonaventure Cemetery Visit Savannah in 48 hours

 

Part showman, storyteller and artist, Shannon skillfully draws us into his world with fascinating tales and bizarre stories of life in Savannah during the Victorian age when this cemetery was initially planned. Apart from the many squares in Savannah during that timeframe, Shannon tells us that there were not that many parks in the city that gave a sense of space and for that matter fresh air from the dank smells and sewage around the city during that time frame. Even though Bonaventure was a cemetery, it was also a getaway for the locals to be outdoors and they treated the cemetery like a park and took day trips from the city to visit their dead relatives.

 

 

Scenic landscape at Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

Avenue of Oaks at Bonaventure

Large Oak trees filled with Spanish moss create that quintessential Southern look and lining the major pathways of Bonaventure cemetery in grand style. In between the views to these dramatic trees are the plots of Savannah’s elites and wealthy families, showing their wealth even in death with massive obelisks, statuary and other impressive architecture. Shannon draws us in to the mysterious and dark past with stories of kindred spirits, name dropping famous personalities like they were besties from their past lives and now being retold to his visitors at Bonaventure.

 

 

Angle sculpture at Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

Wildflowers and unkempt gardens give a sense of wild abandon to Bonaventure

 

Wildflowers at Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

Scenic vistas overlooking the Wilmington River

At the edge of Bonaventure we walk along a path fronting the Wilmington river and Shannon tells us that right across the banks on the other side is another extension of the cemetery that still sells available plots for locals wanting to be buried at Bonaventure. This idyllic scene with the river and oak trees give such a wonderful presence to this spot that it really feels more like a park than an actual cemetery.

 

Wilmington River at the Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

 

 

Cherub angels at the Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

Children at Bonaventure

Shannon tells us during the Victorian age in Savannah, mortality rates were high for very young children and you can see many plots with children’s busts like the sweet image of these young cherub like faces sculpted by local artist John Walz. This famous sculpture created amazing pieces around the cemetery including the well-loved child of Savannah ‘Little Gracie’, who’s grave is the most visited  site at Bonaventure. Surrounded by an ornate iron fence, I spotted a variety of toys and other memorabilia at the gravestone and apparently visitors always come to visit and leave little gifts for the girl who charmed the entire city of Savannah during her short life.

The grave of Little Gracie at Bonaventure

 

Little Gracie's grave at Bonaventure cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenic landscape at Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

 

Johnny Mercer family plot

Savannah’s musical genius has a quiet spot at Bonaventure, but music aficionado Scott shares some wonderful story’s about Mercer’s history and upbringing in Savannah. Scott captivates us with his storytelling to this music prodigy who started at as a young white Jewish boy singing in popular black Minstrel shows. Eventually Mercer wrote and performed over 1,500 popular songs and later became the founder of Capital Records. He was also well-known for writing the music and lyrics to many famous Broadway shows, being nominated for 19 Academy Award nominations and winning 4 Oscars for his original songs.

 

 

Johnny Mercer family plot at Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

 

At the end of the tour, I decided to walk along the banks of the Wilmington river and try to find the illusive ‘Bird Girl’ statue of famously written up from the novel, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. It wasn’t until later that I learned the Bird Girl had been moved to the Jepson Center for the Arts, but it wasn’t that big a deal, the walk and views were magnificent. Eventually I made it to the front gates and captures some gorgeous visuals looking up at the stone figures gracing the gates with those iconic oak trees framed in the background. I’ll always remember and enjoy this last image that I took at the Bonaventure cemetery and sharing it with you below.

 

Entry gate state at Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

 

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah , hopefully this visit will inspire you to go visit the cemetery if you go to Savannah. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

Also if you enjoyed this post please check out my other post that I wrote about Savannah below.

Visit Savannah in 48 hours

If you like what you see, come and check out my other social media channels for more updates, including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter

 

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12 Responses to Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah

  1. Sue Reddel June 26, 2016 at 4:00 am #

    I haven’t visited Savannah in years and haven’t seen the Bonaventure Cemetery your photos changed that. Need to go back and more exploring. As always, your photos are amazing!

  2. Denis Gagnon June 23, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    I have visited cemeteries in several major cities worldwide, from Buenos Aires to Paris, and have found each one to be fascinating and unique.You are making me regret not having visited the Bonaventure cemetery in Savannah during the twelve years or so when we were living nearby on Hilton Head Island. On the other hand, we did get to see the Bird Girl statue! Thanks for the photos and a great posting!

  3. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go June 22, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    By serendipity or sheer luck, we’ll be in Georgia for several days this fall and Savannah was high on our list of places to visit. I remember reading the book, “Midnight in the garden of good and evil” many years ago and thinking that the cemetery was a place I wanted to see and, now that you’ve shared more history and beautiful photos Noel, I’m putting it on the list. Thanks for the name of the tour group too – I’ll be calling!

  4. Carole Terwilliger Meyers June 21, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

    Your images have cinched it. Next time I visit Savannah, I’ll be checking out the Bonaventure Cemetery.

  5. jane canapini June 21, 2016 at 9:36 am #

    I, too, love to wander through cemeteries and find them both peaceful and interesting. This one has its own distinctly southern feel, especially with all the spanish moss on the trees that you captured in your photos. Very nice!

  6. Betsy Wuebker June 21, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    We love visiting cemeteries wherever we find ourselves. Your photos evoke the mystery and decay which add to the haunting, melancholy atmosphere of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.

  7. Rhonda Albom June 21, 2016 at 12:43 am #

    What a fascinating cemetery. Your photos and stories really bring me there with you.

  8. Nathalie June 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    I love visiting cemeteries when we travel. Bonaventure Cemetery looks like the type of place you could spend quite a bit of time, taking photos and strolling around. I love the moss that grows on the trees there, it’s eerily beautiful.

  9. Adam June 20, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    I missed this place when I visited — that’s so cool, especially with the Savannah moss that hangs from the trees. Neat!!

  10. Janice Chung June 20, 2016 at 11:24 am #

    The only other cemetery that I have made a point to visit is Père Lachaise in Paris. I’m sure taking a tour of the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah was incredibly interesting. It certainly was beautiful and I can see why many would treat this as a park.

  11. Tam Warner Minton June 20, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    You capture the beauty and other worldiness in the cemetery…

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