One of Historic Oakland’s current major campaigns is the restoration of the 1.5 acres surrounding the final resting place of golf legend Bobby Jones. Jones is the only amateur golfer to have won the Grand Slam and is credited with the creation of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament.
Later in life, he worked as a respected Atlanta attorney, and his firm Jones, Evins, Moore and Powell, is a predecessor of current day Alston & Bird. Jones was an alum of many revered Atlanta institutions including Georgia Tech where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Emory University School of Law where he joined Phi Delta Phi.
Today, Jones is remembered fondly by thousands of visitors to Oakland Cemetery each year, many of whom leave golf balls and messages as a token of their ongoing respect. Located adjacent to one of the most traveled areas of the cemetery and a busy pedestrian entrance to Oakland, the condition, and beauty of this area greatly impacts the first impressions of many visitors.
Restoring this section of Oakland will: welcome guests; contribute to the greater community vitalization of Grant Park and adjacent neighborhoods; enhance the experience of visitors who want to see the gravesite of the man whose enduring legend continues to inspire people from all over the world.
The land in this section of the cemetery was acquired in 1857 as the cemetery’s first expansion beyond the Original Six Acres acquired in 1850. While Bobby Jones is the most famous person laid to rest in this area of Oakland Cemetery, the area includes other significant markers and monuments in memorium to many of the over 900 people who also rest there, including:
Jeff Cain: The engineer of the Western and Atlantic Railroad engine “The General,” which was stolen by Union raiders in April 1862.
Thomas J. Shivers, Sr.: Terminus and Marthasville stagecoach driver and Atlanta’s Deputy Marshall. Mr. Shivers was the first Atlanta police officer to die while on duty.
N.L.: An unidentified little girl, found lying dead in the street during the summer of 1864 amid the Atlanta evacuation. The only clue to her identity was a handkerchief embroidered with the initials N. L.
John E. Aderhold: President and CEO of Rayloc, Division of Genuine Parts. Mr. Aderhold founded his own development company and was the director on many boards including Atlanta Streetcar Inc., Atlanta Falcons, and Bankhead Enterprises. He was also Chairman Authority of the World Congress Center and was instrumental in building the Georgia Dome.
Dr. Louis “Skip” Elsas: Member of the Emory School of Medicine faculty. He established the Division of Medical Genetics in the Emory Department of Pediatrics and was Director of the Dr. John McDonald Foundation Center of Medical Genetics at the Miller School of Medicine.
The restoration project’s primary objectives are to:
- Restore and preserve 684 headstones, 1 mausoleum, 700 square feet of brick walkways and 1,000 square feet of pea gravel concrete walkways, 66 walls, and metalwork.
- Upgrade the irrigation system, including the installation of 4 Murdock hydrants that replicate the original hydrants installed in the 19th century.
- Enhance landscaping, with consideration given to cultural, historical, and stylistic traditions. This will include restoration of a collection of trees, shrubs, and other plantings that correspond to plantings found at each of the 18 holes at Augusta National Golf Club.
- Create a maintenance plan and implement sound conservation practices.
- Chronicle the restoration process for publicity and historic preservation purposes.
We also plan to develop new experiences for visitors who want to learn more about Bobby Jones. These may include interpretive signage within this section of the cemetery, a cell phone tour, and a guided tour lead by Oakland volunteers. The project is expected to take approximately two to three years to complete.
To date, HOF has raised $160,000 of the overall $760,000 needed to fully restore the hardscape and landscape in the Bobby Jones area.
Your donation can help sustain Oakland Cemetery’s preservation efforts. To make a contribution:
- Select your donation level or amount
- In the special purpose field, select Bobby Jones Section from the dropdown menu
- Complete your donation by clicking the “Donate Now” button