Garrett makes history at Oakland Cemetery
Garrett makes history at Oakland CemeteryFranklin Garrett spent much of the 1930s riding his bicycle in search of burial plots within 30 miles of downtown Atlanta. He kept records of names that have since disappeared from markers and chronicled eight decades of obituaries.
On Oct. 15 his own grave marker will be unveiled in Atlanta's most historic cemetery. "Atlanta's official historian, author and Southern gentleman" it will say. Garrett died last March at age 93 and was buried in Oakland Cemetery.
Appropriately enough, the unveiling will take place during a celebration of the cemetery's 150th anniversary. The event kicks off at 2 p.m. and will feature a performance by the Metropolitan Young Atlanta Singers, tours, stories, contests, a scavenger hunt, a picnic and a vintage car show.
For the last half-century, Garrett studied the history of the cemetery, which is between downtown and Cabbagetown, and the city surrounding it. Oakland started out as a six-acre lot and later became the final resting place of "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell and golfer Bobby Jones.
Garrett always did belong there, according to cemetery preservation coordinator Tevi Taliafero.
"He adopted it and embraced it," she says. "He really tried to learn everything he could and share what he learned."