As far as cemeteries go, Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful and historic area to explore. We spent part of an afternoon wandering around this peaceful cemetery during our July 2022 trip to Savannah. This was the only place not in walking distance from our hotel so we hired a taxi, which was actually quite reasonable. Plus we enjoyed conversation about Savannah with the driver.
History of Bonaventure Cemetery
Bonaventure Cemetery sits on the former Bonaventure Plantation. The British Army Colonel John Mullryne built the original home in 1762 although it burned shortly after and the home was rebuilt. His daughter, Mary, married Josiah Tattnall and the plantation continued on in the Tattnall family name with son Josiah Tattnall, Jr eventually owning it.
The families were loyal supporters of the British Royal Crown during the Revolutionary War. Because of this, the newly formed US government confiscated the home after the war. The plantation was offered at auction and John Habersham bought it. Mr. Habersham sold the plantation back to Josiah Tattnall, Jr. In time, the Tattnall family buried members of their family on the plantation property which in essence became the start of the Bonaventure Cemetery. Over the years there were other owners. After the civil war, part of the plantation became a public cemetery. Eventually, more land became part of the cemetery. You can read more about the history of this at this Bonaventure Cemetery link.
The day we visited the Bonaventure Cemetery was hot and muggy, but nonetheless we enjoyed wandering around in the peaceful and historic area. Many of the gravesites are not only historic, but they are a work of art.
Gracie Watson was only 6 years old when she died of pneumonia. Her parents ran a hotel in Savannah and Gracie was a favorite among the guests and residents. Gracie’s gravestone is a life size likeness of the little girl. It was based on a photograph of her. This is one of the most popular graves in the Bonaventure Cemetery and the story of little Gracie is retold throughout Savannah, Georgia.
Unknown what he passed from, Johnnie died at age 12. His gravestone depicts an angel holding a child. Perhaps carrying him to heaven.
To the right is General Alexander R. Lawton, a Confederate Brigadier General and his daughter, Corrine Elliott Lawton is buried on the left.
The Baldwin Angel
This beautiful sculpture stands over the grave of a wealthy businessman from Savannah named George, Johnson Baldwin and also his wife Lucy.
As it was quite hot, although I took many photos, I did not get information on some of the other gravestones but am including them as they are original and show the craftsmanship seen in this cemetery.
All in all, the Bonaventure Cemetery is a must see in Savannah, Georgia. The historic memorials are indeed a work of art. In addition, the live oak trees are adorned with Spanish moss. Even though it paints a bit of a spooky ambiance, I did not feel that it was scary, regardless of being an old cemetery. Then again, I was there during the day.
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38 thoughts on “Bonaventure Cemetery-Savannah, Georgia”
It’s amazing the stories that stone tells us. And the epitaphs on some headstones can range from heartbreaking to hilarious!
Yea indeed! I would have enjoyed more time reading them had it not been so very hot!! Lori
Goes to show that there are gems to see in Savannah! Morbid as it sounds, cemeteries can truly be beautiful, with some wonderful works of art in the tombstones, and as a way to honor those who’ve passed.
I agree and this one was especially beautiful.
I find cemeteries fascinating. So much history of people of all walks. So sad to see children’s memorials though. Hope your weekend was good Lori. Allan
Thanks for commenting, Allan. The weekend was good, spending time with my son and his wife and baby in Colorado. hope yours was too!
I admit, I love going to old cities and doing grave yards tours. Really interesting
I agree. So much history in a cemetery!
We did a Cemetery tour in Charleston. Really cool
That sounds fun! Next time we are in Charleston I’ll have to check that out!!
Oddly, I’m writing my post for Wednesday…do you consider visiting cemeteries a quirky experience?
That will be a fun post! I’ll be sure to look for it?
Wednesday. As this is the last week of summer, I made it more interactive…asking for quirky examples
We visited Savannah last November and made a quick stop at the Bonaventure Cemetery before heading to Atlanta. I must say, this is the nicest cemetery I’ve ever visited.
I do agree! It is a beautiful cemetery!
We like visiting old cemeteries, and we always wonder about the lives of those who are buried there. I love that you took the time to find out the stories behind some of the people there. Bonaventure Cemetery will be on our “to do” list when we visit Savannah. Thank you for sharing your trip!
I always enjoy doing a bit of research before or after I visit a place. When we were there I bought a map with a lot of great information on so much of the cemetery. Admission is free so buying the map helps support the cemetery. Unfortunately neither of knows who did what with the map when we got home!!! I’m sure we will find it someday…🙄.
Sounds like us!
I really do think cemeteries are incredibly interesting, and it’s amazing how some of the stories stick with places and people through the generations – like little Gracie which is just tragic.
It is amazing when you think how these stories have passed on for generations!
Savannah is a beautiful city to visit, and it has a certain vibe to it. I remember walking past the house from the book and movie. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and it also had that spooky ambiance that you mention.
I have not read the book yet but I have downloaded it for my next long airplane trip!
I enjoyed the book, and it was then nice to go to Savannah and see the house…
I’m excited to read it. I downloaded the sequel as well so I will have plenty of reading material.
I did not know there was a sequel! Enjoy!
Maybe it’s not a sequel but it’s some type of follow up called, “After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”
that sounds like a sequel to me!
Great post and photography.Like minded! We find cemeteries so intriguing! The stories that are so unique. Our favorite is Recoleta Cemetery in Buenas Airs. We did a blog post on it. Cheers!
I do agree! Cemeteries definitely are intriguing!
I think Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has something to do with that cemetery. Did you happen to read it before you went there? I’m planning to before i go down there (probably in a year or so).
I have not read it yet but I have downloaded it on my Kindle. We leave for Greece this coming Wednesday and I plan on reading it on the fly there!
Officially jealous! Have a great trip! I think you need to buy a place over there – it’s becoming your second home. 🙂
I have suggested retiring there but hubby says no. 🥲Too far from the kids and grandbabies!❤️❤️
Then frequent travel there will have to do. Not a bad second choice.