Victor Richardson is next in our student series. He visited Colonial Park Cemetery and discusses the deep history of this site.
One may think that I would have either a fear, dislike, or even a phobia for cemeteries, because I grew up living across the street from a cemetery and have several relatives, including my dad, buried there. But I happened to travel near Colonial Park Cemetery located in the heart of Downtown Savannah (201 Abercorn St). The fact that this is a historical landmark in the city, and myself a history major at Armstrong State University, it gathered my special attention.
Among the reasons that Colonial Park attracted me would be that it is the final resting place for a who’s who of the Savannah’s well respected citizens and heroes. These include Button Gwinnett (one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence), Archibald Bulloch (1st president of Georgia), and Colonel John S. McIntosh (a hero of the War in Mexico). These citizens have schools, roads, and even counties named in their honor such as Button Gwinnett Elementary in Hinesville, Ga, Bullock County in Statesboro, Ga, and McIntosh County in Darien, Ga.
Colonial Park Cemetery was established in 1750 and was once a burial ground for the Christ Church Parish. Over the years it has been enlarged to become the burial place for all denominations as well as a historical park. In my Historical Archaeological class, we are required to study principles of archaeology in order to preserve our historical past, how it relates to our present, and how it can affect our future.
Walking through this historical landmark, I have come across quite a few items that would make for great archaeology such as sidewalks with lots of shells embedded in them. Many of the tombstones of the citizens from the 18th century that are now decaying, barely legible, and would probably also make for archaeological studies.
As of June of 2016, there has been a petition to get the city of Savannah to issue an Archaeological Ordinance in order to protect archaeological resources and historical areas like Colonial Park Cemetery from being lost and destroyed.
Learn more about Colonial Park Cemetery.