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Marietta Cemetery

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January 2023


Marietta, Georgia

Marietta Cemetery was founded in 1831. It has seen its share of vandalism, weather damage, and lack of care over the years. However, now it is getting more attention as an important historical site. Besides these, the ground is home to several thousand Confederate soldiers who died in battle or later as they were cared for in the local hospital. They are in a separate section.

There are slave markers, too, shamefully without names at all. Only a few were buried here, and even fewer have been identified.

There's the grave of Mary Phagan, the poor teenage girl, murdered. Her death was wrongfully avenged when a lynch mob hung Leo Frank. An historic marker quietly identifies the spot where he died. They believe that it was a caretaker at the factory where Mary worked who actually murdered her.

The graves of children in the late 1800s and early 1900s are difficult. Brothers and sisters rest side by side. Some are just a few years old, others are teenagers. Toys and angels adorn the tombstones, and apparently they were added much later than the person was laid to rest. Various plagues passed through laying waste. Wives died in childbirth, and husbands also passed on in their twenties. They are there too. They point to a time in our history when sickness and disease was much more than an inconvenience, when medicines were few and cures never came. We live in rare times.

There are many broken stones vandalized decades ago. Some have been pieced together. Others are barely recognizable.

Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is certainly more well known. People schedule tours there. Many famous people are buried there too. However, the Marietta Cemetery is interesting in its own right. A culture is known by how it treats its young, its old, and the graves of those who have passed on.

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