Oak Hill Cemetery dots the landscape of Bartow County with its grassy knoll and in addition to memorializing those who have passed on it seeks to pass on its history and wealth of knowledge of local history.
“It’s just a beautiful place, and the impact the people buried here have had on the community is tremendous,” said Trey Gaines, director of the Bartow History Museum.
Among the notables are Rebecca Latimer Felton, who was the first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate; Charlie Dobbs, a telegraph operator in the early 1900s;; evangelist, Sam Jones; and author, Bill Arp.
“People that made a large contribution and ordinary people who have great stories to tell all share a place at Oak Hill,” Gaines said.
On Aug. 30 at 7 p.m., Bartow History Museum staff will present the history of Oak Hill Cemetery and will discuss the symbolism behind many of its famous headstones.
Burials at Oak Hill may reach back as far as 1838 when Ebenezer Church resided on the hilltop off Erwin Street and Cassville Road. Many of the earliest graves no longer have headstones and the average passerby may not even notice the impressions in the earth where these graves lie.
Admission to the lecture is free for members and included in the price of admission for nonmembers. Admission is $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for seniors and students.
This evening lecture highlights Bartow County’s famous cemetery as an introduction to the Bartow History Museum’s annual “An Evening in Oak Hill Cemetery” tour, sponsored by Parnick Jennings Funeral Home.
This year will mark the ninth annual tour which will take place Oct. 6. This year’s tour will feature people and stories connected to the railroad.
Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members and must be purchased in advance. Tours start at 5:30 p.m. and run every 30 minutes.
“It’s entertaining and it’s informative,” said Tina Shadden, registrar for the history museum. “History can sometimes be impersonal, but when you hear the stories of the people on the tour it puts it into perspective.”
“The popularity of the tour, which has drawn large crowds every year, is a testament to the community’s interest in its storied history,” said Sandy Moore, archive assistant for the museum.
“I think for a small town we have a lot of people who are interested in preserving history,” Moore said.
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