BHM presents History of Oak Hill Cemetery

BHM presents History of Oak Hill  Cemetery Aug. 30
by: Marie NesmithThe Daily Tribune  News

A fixture of Cartersville for more than 170  years, Oak Hill Cemetery will be highlighted during Bartow History Museum’s  evening lecture Aug. 30.
“It’s significant in that it’s one of our burial  grounds currently but it also has a lot of well-known people buried there that  had major contributions to our history as well as just ordinary people who  played a part in our history,” said Trey Gaines, director of the Bartow History  Museum. “We have indications that burials go back as far as 1838 at Oak Hill.  There are a lot of early headstones there. The early, early ones, a lot of those  are no longer visible. The cemetery originally was the cemetery for the Ebenezer  Church. It was a Methodist church here in town, and it was associated with that  church for many years.
“Then in the late 1860s, Cartersville adopted the  cemetery as the town’s cemetery. [Buried there are] Rebecca Felton who was the  first female U.S. senator; Sam Jones who was a well-known Methodist evangelist;  Bill Arp, who was an author and humorist, sort of on the lines of Mark Twain.  … And then there’s Civil War officers and soldiers as well as [military  personnel] from other wars, politicians and statesmen — just a variety of people  who have made contributions to our history.”
Starting at 7 p.m., the  lecture will be held at the Bartow History Museum, 4 E. Church St., under the  Church Street bridge in Cartersville.
“We hope people will come and learn  more about the history of the cemetery,” Gaines said. “It’s got a very  interesting and long history. It’s a beautiful place that you can learn a lot  from. So we want to talk about the history of the cemetery but also other things  you can learn from the cemetery from the headstones.
“You can learn more  about [the] symbolism of some of the things you see on the headstones. There’s a  lot of genealogy you can glean from stones at times. And [we will share] just  why the cemetery itself should be respected and seen as a place to learn more  about the area’s history.”
The lecture also will serve as an introduction  to the BHM’s ninth annual “An Evening in Oak Hill Cemetery” tour, which will be  presented by Parnick Jennings Funeral Home and Cremation Services Oct. 6. During  the offering, actors from StageWorks Inc. will portray well-known residents who  were buried at the cemetery — at the corner of Erwin Street and Cassville Road — that have connections to the railroad.
To further promote the upcoming  tour, StageWorks member Morgan McCrary will deliver a presentation at the  lecture, portraying Fannie Gibbons Battle.
“I’ll be playing Fannie Battle  and I played her last year in the Civil War-themed tour,” McCrary said. “She was  from the Cassville area and … immediately after the battle at Kennesaw, I  think, her [husband to be] and his best man left the front line so that they  could have this chaotic, rushed wedding because they wanted to go ahead and get  married and they were afraid they’d never get a chance to. So it was all very  romantic. And then there were some stories that we found in doing research about  her — they said they could hear the artillery in the distance while they were in  the middle of the ceremony. So it was very scary for all of them I  think.
“Then on the way back to the front line, the best man whose name  was Alex, he was wounded and it was a fatal wound. So she was waiting for news  of him and of her husband. She didn’t know if he made it back to the front line  or even if he would make it back home to her,” she said, adding she has  performed in “An Evening in Oak Hill Cemetery” twice. “… [With this tour] I  like the fact that [we are portraying] real people, that there is an opportunity  for us to sort of dig around and find in the records all of these facts. You  find the marriage records and the death records and the newspaper clippings  about them and you get such a complete picture of the kind of person that they  were, just from those little tidbits. It’s really fascinating how clear they  become to you.”
While there is no charge for BHM members to attend the  lecture, regular admission costs apply to nonmembers. For more information on  this and other BHM programs, call 770-382-3818, ext. 6288 or visit
Starting Aug. 30, the general public will be  able to purchase tickets to “An Evening in Oak Hill Cemetery,” with tours  departing at 5:30, 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 p.m. To obtain tickets, visit the BHM  gift shop or call 770-387-2774.

Read more:  The Daily Tribune News – BHM presents History of Oak Hill Cemetery Aug 30

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