A Guide to the Many Sacred Symbols

of Atlanta's Oldest Public Cemetery
Richard Waterhouse
Photographs by Dinny Harper Addison
Foreword by Mary Ann Eaddy

Cloth: $24.95 | 96 pages | 7" by 9" | ISBN 978-0-9793631-3-9 | August 2010

Historic Oakland Cemetery, founded in 1850 by the City of Atlanta, is nationally cherished for the splendor of its monuments, the breadth of its landscape, and the richness of its history.

One of the most beautiful examples in the United States of the Rural Garden Cemetery Movement, Oakland’s parklike expanse still welcomes visitors to escape for a picnic or stroll, and the often sizable, highly embellished gravestones, mausolea, and monuments of the Victorian era encourage – through their elaborate symbolism – reflection on this life and the one beyond.
From scallop shells to tree stumps, to saints, angels, and the anchor & cross, Richard Waterhouse, a longtime Oakland docent and the creator of a popular Oakland symbolism tour, illuminates the symbols’ sacred meanings as intended by the Victorians, while revealing the oftentimes classical and other pagan derivations. The history of Atlanta and the cemetery meanders entertainingly through the book.

Dinny Harper Addison’s striking photographs carefully document the symbols and stand themselves as meditations on the grandeur of Oakland.

For further information about the cemetery, visit Historic Oakland Foundation.

For further information about Richard Waterhouse, the symbolism of cemeteries, and the Waterhouse Symbolism newsletter, visit Waterhouse Symbolism.

Available through the University of South Carolina Press.