Mobile, Alabama: Magnolia Cemetery
I don't normally seek out cemeteries when I'm traveling. But as I drove through Mobile at the start of Day 2, I noticed several directional signs (the kind meant to help tourists find their way around town) pointing toward Magnolia Cemetery. It was worth the detour: Magnolia Cemetery dates back to 1836, covers 120 acres, and features some incredible old tombstones.
Magnolia Cemetery is located on Ann Street, several blocks south of US 90 (Government Street). There are plenty of signs to point the way.
The first bodies were buried in Magnolia Cemetery during a devastating outbreak of Yellow Fever, in 1836. The city purchased the land, when it ran out of space in the Church Street graveyard. Back then, Magnolia was outside the city limits, but today it's practically in the middle of town, with the city skyline visible on the horizon.
Magnolia isn't just old, it's peaceful and beautiful. Its sculptures and statues are impressive, and its tombs appear ancient. The graveyards are divided by "streets", which, following a night of rain, were soggy. There are plenty of rough edges, but after all, this is a 170 year old cemetery.
Magnolia Cemetery borders two Jewish cemeteries, and a National Cemetery where more than 6,000 veterans are buried. Huge trees sprawl out over the graves.
I found a few vaults that were in bad shape. The cemetery has set up a trust fund to provide for lawn care and repair work.
Visit Magnolia Cemetery's website here.
The Oakleigh District of historic homes is just a few blocks north of here.
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