The site of this Savannah, Georgia cemetery is on the grounds of an 18th century plantation, originally home to the Tattnall and the Mullryne famililies from 1760-1765. They named this cemetery Bonaventure, meaning "Good Fortune". More history will follow in subsequent posts. To wet your appetite, if you have time, please click here to see an introduction to a few "voices from the past"
For now I would like to introduce you to Gracie Watson, one of the more famous statues in the cemetery. She was an only child and lived between 1883 - 1889 and known for her sweetness. Her wealthy parents managed the Pulaski House, a famed Savannah Hotel. She came down with and died from pneumonia two days after Easter 1889. A more detailed version I heard was that she had run out into the street to catch a ball and was run over by a carriage. While in the hospital, she contracted pneumonia, and died. The sculptor John Walz (1844-1922) was a sculptor of stone architectural sculptures and relief ornaments for many Savannah public buildings. He created numerous funerary monuments for local cemeteries. He was presented with a photograph of the Watson's beloved daughter and he created this detailed and beautiful life-like image of Gracie. Her hand rests upon the "Tree of Life" symbolically "cut short".
Tour guides like to say that she haunts the current Pulaski Hotel, but she does not. The original Pulaski House Hotel was torn down and rebuilt elsewhere.
If she haunts anyplace, it is said to be here, in the cemetery. As legend has it, people, especially children, like to leave gifts of small toys or pennies, especially at Christmas. Below you can see a pink flower at the gate.
It is said that one might hear crying if the presents are removed and see tears of blood, perhaps, on the statue's face. If you are interested in more information, I thought that Daniel Stainer HERE did a fine job with his words on Gracie Watson and did a beautiful job with his photography.
The following photo is for "Black & White Wednesday"