Started in 1853, Catholic Cemetery was developed after leaders in the Catholic Diocese asked that there be a Catholic section in Laurel Grove North Cemetery, and their request was denied. After the cemetery opened, many remains were moved from Colonial Park Cemetery to here. Along with the remains, many of the stones were moved, too.
Sherman’s troops used the cemetery as an encampment area. Many markers were damaged, and the ironwork was used to build fortifications.
This is an overlooked cemetery when people think of the must-see cemeteries in Savannah. There are several grand Victorian markers. There’s at least one John Walz of “Little Gracie” fame.
Built in 1873, Spann Methodist Church was built to replace a meeting house on the grounds. It is a prime example of a Greek Revival church in a rural setting.
The cemetery began in the 1840s when the original meeting house was constructed. The earliest marker is dated 1842. It served the congregation and became a a burial ground for the citizens of Ward. It includes several Victorian monuments that are also listed on the Smithsonian’s Save Outdoor Sculpture database.
Mary Glover Thurman (1829-1916) was born in Virginia but moved to Atlanta with her husband, a successful dentist, in the 1850s. She was known for her flower gardens at her lavish home that stood where the Biltmore Hotel is now. She would take her flowers to friends and hospitals and was known as the “Angel of Atlanta.”
When she passed, she left $10,000 in her will to have a monument built on her and her husband’s plot. The executer of the will, nephew Rolfe Glover, had a replica of a Daniel Chester French monument sculpted for his aunt. The James Novelli monument is listed on the Smithsonian’s Save Our Sculpture database.
Known as “The Spirit of Achievement” or, more simply, “Achievement,” the Jesse Parker and Cora Best Taylor Williams memorial in Westview Cemetery illustrates the success of Williamses, who relocated to Atlanta in 1900.
J. P. Williams built and ran the Georgia, Florida, and Alabama railway. Upon his death, Cora took over the management of the railroad. She ran the company until she passed. In her will, she asked that a hospital for women and children be built where their house once stood, at approximately 542 Peachtree Street. The hospital turned over management to Crawford Long Hospital, now Emory Midtown, in 1992. While the building no longer exists, the Jesse Parker Williams Foundation still exists and gives out health-related grants.
The memorial was created by sculptor Daniel Chester French and architect Henry Bacon. It’s listed as part of the Smithsonian’s Save Our Sculpture database.