Inside the gates of Rose Hill Cemetery, thousands of people lay at rest. Historian Jim Barfield says there’s a lot of unknown history, and there are five spots that draw crowds.
Our first stop was in one of the seven Jewish sections. The original was consecrated in 1844. The William Wolff square section gets many visitors. It's home to some of the few mausoleums. Most want to see Wolff’s wife’s monument.
“It’s a life-size statue and very finely done.” Barfield said. “It obviously showed that he had a great deal of devotion to his wife, Bertha.”
A short distance away, you’ll find what looks like an empty field -- that’s the Oak Ridge. The original wooden markers were lost long ago.
“This was created for people who had very little money,” Barfield said. “Slaves were buried here, a number of free black people were buried here, and a good many white people.”
The third most-visited spot is the site of the Johnston and Bond burials. The Johnstons built the Hay House. Their plots have a view of the Ocmulgee River.
“Below us is where one of the famous photographs from the Allman Brothers Band albums was made at this site,” Barfield said.
The number two spot visitors also flock to see is Soldier Square. It's home to more than 600 Confederate soldiers.
“It was rather amazing that women in Macon who were dedicated to helping soldiers and doing what they could for soldiers already,” Barfield said. “Fearlessly, I think, they went out into the country side to the scenes around the battle sites and dug up the recently buried corpses, and brought them back for burial here.”
By far, the most visited grave is the one of two of the Allman Brothers Band members, Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.
“It’s a tribute that they can come to Macon and go to The Big House museum and then come here to pay their respects to the people whose music they loved so much,” Barfield said.
He expects even more once Gregg Allman is laid to rest near his bandmates.
Their gravesite is located in the Carnation Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.
It's open every day from 8:30 a.m. until sundown.
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