One of the best parts, in my personal opinion of the historic Savannah, Georgia area is a visit to Bonaventure Cemetery. It is free to tour, although they do accept donations, and is well worth a visit. You could spend hours here, taking in the history, romance and ghosts of the historic cemetery. With it’s angels, sculptures, monuments and gardens, you will truly feel like you have stepped into another world. But, please, although you may want to reach out and touch, do not be tempted like those before you to take a bit of it home with you. They had to move the now famous Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Bird Girl statue to the Jepson Museum in downtown Savannah, as people were breaking off bits to carry home as souvenirs. One of my favorite angels, has lost almost her entire hand to this unnecessary habit that tourists have.
They had to put poor Gracie inside of a fenced courtyard to prevent visitors from picking away at her.
Dating back to 1846, Bonaventure was originally the plantation home of Josiah Tatnall. It became Evergreen Cemetery in 1867 and was then sold to the city of Savannah in 1907 making it Bonaventure Cemetery. The original plantation had a small family cemetery on the grounds, which you can still see today. For a full history watch the video below.
Gracie Watson, Little Gracie, is one of the most visited graves in the cemetery. The story goes that her family moved to Savannah to run the Pulaski Hotel and while there Gracie entertained guests with songs and dance and truly won the hearts of all who met her. She died of Pneumonia in 1889 and was buried in Bonaventure. But, she stays her all alone as her family, grief stricken, eventually moved on and are buried in New England. They say her ghost haunts Johnson Square in Savannah where the Pulaski Hotel was located.
The statue of Gracie is said to be modeled after her portrait and is a life size perfect replica of this young girl. People leave gifts for her on the gate in front of her grave.
Many of the statues, like Corinne below, are said to change countenance and their faces will show different emotions to different people.
Regardless of whether you believe in ghosts or not, Bonaventure Cemetery is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots to visit in the Savannah, Georgia area.
Visit during the Spring to enjoy the amazing gardens and see the flowers in full bloom. The Bonaventure Historical Society offers free tours the weekend of the second Sunday of every month, 2:00 pm on Saturdays and 2:30 and 3:00 pm on Sundays. You can grab a map from the main office and take a self guided tour any day of the week 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
If you are craving more Savannah, check out my other posts, 7 Best Places to Eat in Savannah and Know Before You Go: St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah.