9.15.2011

Hollywood Cemetery Atlanta Georgia

I took these pictures back in June 2009.

I read a book, and in the epilogue it said where the author of the book is buried. W. H. Andrews. He only wrote one book; His diary, which someone found and published decades after he died as a book called, "Footprints of a regiment." Its basically his civil war recollections.

I noted the cemetery was about a 30 minute drive away, so my friend Eric and I made a day trip to try and find this guy's tombstone.

I had a hard time locating the cemetery since it wasn't listed in the phone book. I lucked out and found directions on a website, but it the directions were very vague. I also stumbled across this blogspot blog, Hollywood Cemetery/Magnolia Cemetery.

Anyways, we got to the area and drove around for 30 minutes. I thought my GPS was wrong and we literally drove around in circles for 30 mins trying to figure out where the hell the cemetery was. Anyways, Hollywood Cemetery turned out to be a forgotten and overgrown area overlooking the Chattahoochee river. The cemetery was right smack in the middle of the ghetto in Bankhead.

If you want to find Hollywood Cemetery, the best description is Hollywood Cemetery just East of where Hightower Road intersects with Hollywood Road NW.

Eric and I just stopped by the side of the road and started walking back into the woods because my GPS told me we were at the right place...As we walked back in the woods I spotted one gravestone, then another, and another. I realized there were gravestones all over the place.

We wandered around about an hour but we were unable to find the gravestone I was looking for. Eric and I will probably be going back at some point. It was pretty cool but definitely difficult to try and go from plot to plot to find what we were looking for. Dodging wait-a-minute vines and poison ivy. It was just a crazy and unmaintained old cemetery.

Again, I just went there on a whim because we were bored and didn't really expect to find what we found!



















This was the road leading into the cemetery. You can see why we had such a hard time finding it.









Aerial photo of the site. You can see the two roads that lead into it, but they were completely overgrown and since it was on a hill, a there were gigantic ruts from rainwater.. I don't think they'd be passable except with an ATV or 4x4. I didn't realize until after I got home and looked at the aerial photo that there was a huge clearing behind all the woods with more graves. That's the area we are planning on exploring next to find this dude's tombstone. Once we eventually find it we're gonna take a weedwhacker and some shears and clean his grave up.

BTW the records from the cemetery are completely long gone. Apparently the next cemetery over owns the property and the records/plot maps were lost sometime back in the 70s when the original cemetery office closed down(per someone I found on the internet who has a relative buried there).

All of the graves we saw were from the late 1880s to 1940s. There were a lot more that we didn't see. It was 90 degrees and we were taking our time.

I'm sure there are tons of cemeteries like this, but it was the first time I had ever seen one. It was just weird to be in the middle of a forest and suddenly realize you're surrounded by hundreds of gravestones all over the place.

You can read more about the history of Hollywood Cemetery on this page at StephensRoots.com.

Here is also another fantastic article, "Search for relative reveals ramshackle and forgotten Jewish cemetery"
(courtesy of the Jewish Times).

If you'd like to see more pictures of Hollywood Cemetery, see AtlantaLarry (Larry Felton Johnson)'s blog post. Atlanta's Hollywood Cemetery.

Hollywood Cemetery/Magnolia Cemetery has a lot of information. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated in around two years. There is a little news contained and bits of information contained in there, which I'll sum up;

If you want information about this Hollywood Cemetery, you need to call The Lincoln Cemetery office, which is located 2275 Simpson Rd NW Atlanta, GA 30314, phone number (404) 792-2220. The people at the Lincoln Cemetery office seem to sometimes be helpful and sometimes not. At the least they may or may not be able to look at old records and find where your loved one is buried. Unfortunately over the years it sounds like some of the records may have been lost. They may need a couple of days to locate the burial site you want to find. It can't hurt to inquire. Unfortunately, as of 2010, the person or persons working at the Lincoln Cemetery office seem to give family members problems as far as providing maps of the burial sites. It sounds like sometimes the office will provide copies, sometimes they won't.

However, if you are interested in finding a relative and are willing to do some footwork, you can check out this page at Stephen's Roots, which offers partial documentation of some of the people buried at Hollywood Cemetery. These are volunteers who are working very hard to provide information related to burial locations within the cemetery.

In March of this year (2011) thieves stole the bronze markers off most of the crypts. Therefore, if you have a loved one buried in a crypt it is probably unmarked at this point.

The road leading into Hollywood Cemetery is most "transversable" (and I used this word lightly) from Thanksgiving to Easter. This is because of the insane amount of foliage that has overgrown the cemetery. Really, you wont be able to see anything if there are leaves on the trees, as the above pictures demonstrate.

If you plan on going, you need to wear long plants and long sleeves. Like everywhere else in Georgia, there is poison ivy everywhere.

Click here for a blog post containing helpful links related to Hollywood Cemetery.
Post a Comment