Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Past Life...
Family Plot @ Bonaventure Cemetery
We went to the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah.
I thought it was one of the most beautiful places ever.
Yeah, it is a cemetery but there is so much meaning to many of the plots and monuments there.

Everyone has a story.
Seems you can find a story every time you turn around.
I enjoyed my visit there so much that I bought the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (made into a movie) which was set in the town and this cemetery plays a part in the true story.

I got to thinking that this is the way to carry on someone's story. A good way.
While there, you could see the people come in and look.

The Segway tour drives by, you hear bits of what the guide is telling the crowd.
On flippin' Segways. LOL.

But it is extremely interesting and the painstaking work grieving spouses and parents put into some of the monuments is amazing. 
I have several I could cite.

Corinne Elliot Lawton; Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah
This beautiful sculpture depicts Corinne Elliott Lawton. She was the eldest daughter of Alexander Robert Lawton, an important figure in Savannah's history. A Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, a politician and President of the American Bar Association and he was also President of the Augusta and Savannah Railroad.

The sculpture of her is seated majestically beside a cross. Although the piece is amazingly sculpted, you can see in my photo that she is missing some fingers on the right hand. What is it with people and vandalism?

Her family plot is close the river.
You can actually see the moss sweeping in the wind in my photo.
It is beautiful.
Imagine the warm breeze on the riverside...in such a lush, serene place.

The pedestal is inscribed with the words: "Allured to brighter worlds and led the way." The sculptor, Benedetto Civiletti from Palermo, Sicily, was a well-known sculptor in the 19th century. I do know (from listening) that there are many sculptures in this cemetery done by well-known artists and that is what draws some people here.

Turns out Corinne died the night before her wedding. 

** I am adding this in response to the questions....the story goes that Corinne had fallen in love beneath her "station" and was being forced to marry another. It is said she committed suicide by walking out that night and drowning in the Wilmington River. This is very close to where her grave is. I have looked this up and that is what I found. What a story.

Not sure what you mean about it being very common....the suicide? Or loveless marriage?

And this is no fragile monument! The fingers were broken by a human.....**


  1. oh, I wonder why she died? did you take a shot of her eyes? I hope you did because I would love to see them. I love sculptures, especially in a cemetary and it's one of my other weaknesses: graves and their stories. Beautiful photos, dear friend and so much feeling. Don't forget to post the eyes, if you got the shot. Hm, I could google maybe why she died? very interesting.

  2. ok, I found it. Read it, very interesting and so very common in those days. How sad. Her eyes do look hollow. And maybe the fingers were too fragile and fell off?

  3. Well, my friend, you know how much I am taken in by these magnificent, historic cemeteries. Your photo of that telling monument with the hanging moss blowing in the breeze makes me want to hop a plane and head to Savannah. I can feel the ambience and my imagination kicking into gear wondering about the people buried in the cemetery and their families. To me, the challenge is to make my photos live up to the emotional charge I felt while actually there and also to match up with the incredible stories that have been passed down through the years.

    Also, the detail work in the iron fence is amazing.

    I want to see more..............................

  4. I am going through your entire blog trying to find a photo that I thought you had done in HDR and can't find it, of course. Then I read your reply....lol, you sound rattled. What I mean by 'it being very common' is a loveless marriage...very common in those days, but also vandalism in cemetaries and breaking statues is rather common. Generalized......not out of the ordinary, happening more often than not (as far as loveless marriages go)....


Let me know what you think!