||This article relies entirely upon a single source, the National Register Information System (NRIS) database or one of its mirrors. Articles based solely on the NRIS may contain errors. (November 2013)|
|Location||229 Bell St., Decatur, Georgia|
|Area||58 acres (23 ha)|
|Architect||Scott, Robert et al.; Pauley, W.C.|
|NRHP Reference #||97000459|
|Added to NRHP||May 23, 1997|
The Decatur Cemetery is a historic graveyard within the City of Decatur, Georgia.
The Decatur Cemetery is the oldest burial ground in the Metro Atlanta Area, and is believed to have been used even before Decatur's 1823 incorporation. In 1852, an act by the local legislature created “Commissioners for the Decatur Burial Ground.” Numerous Civil War veterans were buried in the Decatur Cemetery, mostly in the 8-acre (3.2 ha) region now referred to as, "The Old Cemetery". The Cemetery's "Well House" was built in 1881.
The Cemetery Today
The Decatur Cemetery has expanded to 58 acres (23 ha) and contains well over 20,000 graves. A special section exists for cremated burials, the Cemetery also contains a pond stocked with fish. This pond is also home to swans, ducks and turtles, and is a stopping place for canada geese on migration. The Cemetery is bordered by a several acre forest, which borders the Glennwood Estates (Decatur) neighborhood.
The forested ravine east of the cemetery includes a newly completed pedestrian path that winds over a branch of Peachtree Creek. A small, but lovely waterfall is just south of the southern bridge.
The Bamboo Grove
At the southeast corner of the cemetery is found a rather surprising grove of giant bamboo, some with trunks over 20cm in diameter. A short path leads through this grove to the end of the Ponce de Leon Court Historic District.
On the north, the cemetery is bordered by Glenlake Park, which can be accessed by a footpath.
More than a Cemetery
Decatur Cemetery is more than just a burial ground. It is also used by its living neighbors as a quiet park, perfect for exercise and dog walking. It is also a favorite place for Decatur residents to teach their children to ride bicycles with its large paved access roads, but little or no traffic.
- Col. Milton A Candler (1837–1909); local legislator and congressman
- Dr Thomas Holly Chivers (1806–1858); Doctor and Poet
- Mary A.H. Gay (1828–1918); Author of Life in Dixie During the War
- Charles Murphey (1799–18610); local legislator, congressman, and a delegate to the Georgia Secession Convention.
- Col. George Washington Scott (1829–1903); founder of Agnes Scott College
- Benjamin F. Swanton (1807–1890); builder of the historic Swanton House