Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer LaDoris Bias-Davis

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over 200 volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked our volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved at Oakland and their experiences here.

Meet LaDoris Bias-Davis

Tell us a little about yourself:
I am LaDoris Bias-Davis. I’m Mississippi born and bred into a family of 13, so you know I have stories to tell! I’m an educator/trainer-consultant and storyteller/actor by trade. I’ve been telling tales and facilitating workshops across the United States for 15 years. My programs are tailored to schools, libraries, youth groups, early childhood organizations, literacy/reading programs, motivational assemblies, corporations, family reunions and more. From fables to fairy tales, fiction to non-fiction, Bible stories to “bet ya can’t tell just one” stories, the Ezra Jack Keats collection, Gullah tales, African-American and inter-cultural tales and “me and Mississippi” collection of personal stories, I try to engage audiences and provide programs for interactive learning. I have a bachelor of arts in speech and theatre, and a graduate degree in early literacy education. But really I’ve been spinning tales and creating characters since I learned to talk.

How did you get involved in volunteering with Oakland?
Oakland was looking for actors of African-American descent for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours about nine or 10 years ago. The intent was to showcase some of the stories in Oakland’s African American section. I was recommended by someone who knew someone already volunteering at Oakland. I came aboard as Carrie Steele-Logan and the rest, as they say, is history.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
My role at Oakland is to share stories and bring to life the history and lives of some of the amazing residents here. I volunteer at Sunday in the Park, the Juneteenth observance, and at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours, usually in the role of an actress or storyteller. I volunteer at Oakland because I love being involved in learning about the wonderful people buried there and sharing their stories with thousands of people year after year. I love the camaraderie of the staff and fellow volunteers. What I like most is working with fellow volunteers and bringing to life the characters so their stories can be told and their lives and contributions appreciated. It is an amazing place to be a part of!

Volunteer LaDoris Davis portrayed Dr. Beatrice Thompson during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or memory?
My favorite experience is every single night of the Halloween tours and every single character I’ve played. One particular highlight was when I, playing Julia Hayes Palmer, was paired with a male actor playing Dr. Fred Palmer, a white man who invented Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and married Julia, a former slave. We gave the script a lot of drama as we informed the crowd “our marriage caused quite a stir back in our day!” The crowds roared with laughter! Oakland visitors help make the moments memorable and unforgettable.

HOF Volunteer applications have closed for 2018. However, if you would like to be considered for future volunteer opportunities or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please contact Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers: rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer Loran Crabtree

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet Loran Crabtree

Loran serving as a tour guide at Oakland Cemetery.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 28 years old and born and raised in the metro Atlanta area (Atlanta and Forsyth County.) I’ve been a police officer for the last six years. My family has been in the City of Atlanta since the 1870s. My great, great, great grandfathers on both sides served in the Civil War. My great uncle was an Atlanta police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1902.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
I was interested in local Atlanta history and a friend of mine mentioned Oakland was hosting a volunteer orientation… and the rest, as they say, is history. I volunteer at Oakland because local Atlanta history is very important to me. Having the Crabtree side of my family live and prosper in Atlanta since the 1870s makes it a special place for me. Volunteering at Oakland ensures that the people buried here won’t be forgotten and neither will their stories. Oakland is also a very relaxing place to me. With the stress of my job and life in general, I need an outlet that is relaxing and volunteering at Oakland does this for me.

What do you do at Oakland?
I’m mainly a tour guide but I work in the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, and I work at the Foundation’s special events. I also independently research Oakland and the cemetery’s residents. I love being around the other volunteers and networking with them. I also enjoy meeting the guests who come to Oakland and conversing with them.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or moment?
This would be a tie between portraying a Confederate soldier for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tour and meeting some of Captain William A. Fuller’s descendants. At Capturing the Spirit of Oakland in 2015, I read the roll call of Confederate dead. I met Capt. Fuller’s descendants one day when I was working in the Visitors Center. A lady came in and as we started talking, it turned out she was Capt. Fuller’s great, great granddaughter. We discussed the Great Locomotive Chase, and she even described to me remembering when the Fuller family cemetery was dug up and moved to make way for a Shoney’s.

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please e-mail Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers, rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or call 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteers Joan Fountain and Al Stephens

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. We’ve asked some of Oakland’s volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet brother and sister volunteer team Joan Fountain and Al Stephens

Tell us a little bit about yourselves:

From left: Joan Fountain, Al Stephens, and wife Diana.

Al Stephens: My sister Joan and I grew up in Candler Park, living with our older sister, mother and grandparents. My wife Diana and I have two daughters and five grandchildren. We lost our son Daniel in 2007.

Joan Fountain: I have been married to my husband Andy for 45 years. We are blessed with three amazing children, an extraordinary daughter-in-law and four remarkable grandchildren. For the past 35 years I have been a Certified Registered Nurse (RN) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Atlanta Medical Center. I am a certified preceptor for students and new employees, and teach classes for Neonatal Resuscitation and Stabilization.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
JF: My big brother Al had been a tour guide at Oakland for several years, and had suggested that I, too, might enjoy doing the same. In 2008, I did just that. We grew up in Candler Park, and Al had biked through Oakland in his youth (long, long ago!) I had only visited once.

AS: I began coming here while growing up and rode my bicycle here. Over the years, I continued visiting, and one day saw a tour being given. I volunteered to do that and have been ever since. I fell in love with Oakland while growing up. I love the artistry of the monuments, the history here and the opportunity to share my interest with others. I give the “Sights, Symbols and Stories” overview tour, “Oakland and the Civil War,” and the “Malts and Vaults of Oakland” beer tours. I also work in the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, and am an actor during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours, and volunteer at other special events.

Al Stephens in character during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
JF: How much time do you have for an answer?! History, exquisite statuary and flora, being an ambassador for Oakland to people from all over the world. Our Oakland volunteer family is diverse, but every person in it is friendly and caring. We have grown so much; my “graduating class” of volunteers in 2008 had only about a dozen members. I enjoy myself immensely working in the Visitor’s Center & Museum Shop, at special events, and giving a few tours and learning new facts about Oakland and the residents. Visitors tell about their family members; other volunteers research and share their knowledge; and we learn new material with each new tour. I have accumulated a vast library of books at home on Atlanta and cemeteries. My very first purchases on eBay were volumes one and two of Franklin Garrett’s Atlanta and Environs.

AS: Interacting with those interested in learning about what’s here, being with the good friends who volunteer here, and sharing my common interest with Joan, who in addition to being a wonderful tour guide and volunteer, is one of the finest people I know.

What is your favorite Oakland experience/moment?
AS: Meeting descendants of those who are on the tours. I have met and talked with the Ivy family, related to Hardy and Sarah Todd Ivy and relatives of Dr. Noel D’Alvigny to name a few. The Ivys told me where they thought Hardy is buried, and I was able to give the D’Alvigny descendants information that they didn’t know.

JF: During and after the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours. Walking in the moonlight in Oakland is sublime!

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please e-mail Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers, rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or call 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Volunteer Jihan Hurse

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.


Meet Jihan Hurse

As a volunteer, Jihan Hurse helps bring Oakland’s history to life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a highly-functional introvert. I consider myself to be an early adopter, and I am a huge content connoisseur – I read multiple newspapers, several blogs, and various news websites online daily. I try to read four to six books a month on a broad range of genres. I am fashion-forward, and shoes are my favorite weakness. I love thrift shopping.

I volunteer for Make-A-Wish GA. I am a tour guide at Historic Oakland Cemetery and the CDC Museum. Professionally, I have worked at a federal public health agency for the last 15 years. Before that, I modeled professionally for 10 years. However, I aspire to publish a novel, become a TV writer, start a non-profit for single mothers, start a publishing and production company…just to name a few.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
I attended one of the Black History Month tours of the African American Grounds. I recognized many familiar names and wanted to learn the stories behind the names. As an introvert, I wanted to challenge myself, and I thought that volunteering as a tour guide would provide a unique opportunity to strengthen my public speaking skills and be more social.

I volunteer as a weekend tour guide and also work as one of the guides in the African American Grounds. Atlanta is a diverse city in many aspects: racially, culturally, economically. Oakland demonstrates these characteristics of the city through the various stories and backgrounds of its residents. Volunteering allows me to share the rich diversity of the city.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
I take the definition of the word “guide” literally, and I like to think I guide visitors on a journey; transporting them in time to when our residents were alive. I also love the camaraderie amongst the volunteers and shared passion of history. I least like the hill near the Confederate section in the middle of July or August!

Jihan Hurse leading a tour at Historic Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience/moment?
I don’t have a specific memorable moment at Oakland. There are so many it’s hard to choose just one. I will say I favor those magical moments when an Atlanta native is on a tour and they recognize a name such as “Inman” or “Austell” and they connect the dots that these aren’t just names of areas, cities, streets, et cetera – they were actually people. You can actually see the thought connect and their eyes light up. It reminds me of my first visit and the day I fell in love with Oakland.


HOF Volunteer applications have closed for 2018. However, if you would like to be considered for future volunteer opportunities or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please contact Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers: rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or 404-688-2107

 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer Mary Price

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet Mary Price

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am currently a self-contained Special Education teacher at Druid Hills High School. I’ve worked in a number of different jobs as an adult because I’ve never wanted to be tied down in a job to the point of hating the job. I am originally from Quitman in South Georgia. It’s a place of fond memories but not a place to spend a whole life, though I still visit my family there.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland and why do you volunteer here?
I like cemeteries because they are historical goldmines. So much of the social history of a place can be gleaned from a walk through a cemetery like Oakland. So I took a walk here one summer day and decided I’d like to explore the volunteer opportunities. I wasn’t really sure what volunteering in a cemetery would involve, but it sounded promising. I had worked in downtown Atlanta and attended Georgia State University, so I had ridden past Oakland on MARTA for several years. I was intrigued.

What do you do at Oakland and what do you like the most about volunteering at Oakland?
I volunteer in the gardens, in the Visitor Center, and for special events. I enjoy volunteering at Oakland because there is such a variety of interesting people who also volunteer there. I have learned so much about the history of Atlanta and enjoyed the company of other wonderful volunteers during the years I have been a volunteer at Oakland. I have enjoyed being a team leader with the Second Saturday gardening volunteer days, and being a guide for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours. Those are only two of the many volunteer opportunities at Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or moment?
My favorite moment is when visitors to Oakland admire the beauty of the gardens or remark on how much they enjoyed participating in one of the events, because I know how much everyone works to make the events and the cemetery special. So, knowing that my efforts are appreciated by those who visit is rewarding.

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please click here to learn more about HOF’s volunteer needs and submit an application.   

Historic Oakland Cemetery focuses on African American Grounds restoration on Georgia Gives Day

Deborah Strahorn portrays Myra Miller at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland 2017

On Tuesday, Nov. 28 Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) joins non-profit organizations across the state for Georgia Gives Day. On this statewide day of online giving, HOF has a goal to raise $5,000 in support of its ongoing restoration project in the African American Grounds.

The 3.5-acre area in Oakland Cemetery has not undergone a large-scale restoration in more than 100 years. HOF requires approximately $400,000 to fully restore the area, which will undergo both hardscape and landscape repairs. To date HOF has received generous gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations including Georgia-Pacific Foundation and Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.

The African American Grounds restoration project began this January, six months after HOF completed a ground-penetrating radar survey of the area. Historically, African American burial traditions utilized natural markers like wood, shrubbery, or flowers, which have been lost through the passage of time. Therefore, much of this section of Oakland Cemetery is bereft of headstones or other visual markers.

To determine what lies beneath, HOF partnered with Atlanta-based remote sensing firm Bigman Geophysical for a technologically-advanced survey of the American Grounds. That survey found nearly 900 probable unmarked burials in the area.

During the recent Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours – held over two weekends in October – HOF raised more than $9,000 for the African American Grounds, thanks to attendees who donated after hearing the story of Oakland resident Myra Miller.

Born a slave in 1811, Miller was among the 10 residents featured on this year’s tours. Miller and her husband moved to Atlanta in the mid-1870s, and she established herself as one of the city’s finest and most sought-after bakers. Miller owned and operated a bakery in downtown Atlanta, and wedding cakes were her specialty.

Capturing the Spirit of Oakland is HOF’s largest annual fundraiser, bringing more than 7,000 visitors through the cemetery’s gates over seven nights. This year’s donations for the African American Grounds broke HOF records.

In 2016 Capturing the Spirit of Oakland attendees donated more than $7,500 to the African American Grounds. The tours featuredDr. Beatrice Thompson, who graduated from medical school in 1901 before setting up a practice in Athens, Ga. During her lifetime Dr. Thompson championed fellow entrepreneurs and invested in Athens’ first black-owned pharmacy.

“Supporting Oakland Cemetery on Georgia Gives Day makes it possible for us to restore and maintain this treasured area, as the families originally intended,” said HOF Executive Director David Moore. “Our Foundation works every day to keep Atlanta’s history alive through a diverse range of programming and projects, and community support is critical to our success.”

Historic Oakland Cemetery hosts 40th anniversary, free festival this fall

Sunday in the Park: An event worth waiting 167 years for! (click to enlarge)

Families looking for fall activities need look no further than Historic Oakland Cemetery. On Sunday, Oct. 1, Atlanta’s most tangible link to the past opens its gates for Sunday in the Park, a free festival and celebration of Historic Oakland Foundation’s (HOF) 40th anniversary.

From noon to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Park attendees will find activities for all ages and interests, including: living history demonstrations and presentations on Victorian mourning customs; kid’s crafts and storytelling; a Victorian costume contest; tintype photography booth; and much more. Bands and dancers will perform throughout the day, and Sunday in the Park also includes a market with wares from over 20 local artists.

“What started nearly 40 years ago as a small picnic for Oakland Cemetery’s descendants has evolved into an annual tradition,” said David Moore, HOF executive director. “In thanks to all who’ve supported Oakland over the decades, we’re happy to make Sunday in the Park a free event this year and welcome all to celebrate Oakland’s past, present, and future.”

Oakland Cemetery’s fall event season begins with its Fall Plant Sale, held Sept. 29-30. After Sunday in the Park, the cemetery hosts its 10th annual Run Like Hell 5K on Oct. 14, followed by two weekends of the acclaimed Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours, which sold out in July.

“All of Oakland Cemetery’s programming and events strive to be educational, entertaining, and enlightening,” said Moore. “The Foundation has grown by leaps and bounds over the past forty years, as has Atlanta. We’ll share some of our ‘greatest hits,’ at Sunday in the Park and shed some light on where we’re going.”

During Sunday in the Park, HOF will close its 40 in 40 fundraising campaign, which launched on Aug. 23 with a goal to raise $40,000 in 40 days, commemorating the organization’s 40th anniversary. Should HOF reach the 40 in 40 goal, its fundraising will be doubled with a $40,000 matching gift generously provided by John R. Moore and Jimmy L. Bryant, The Gertrude and William C. Wardlaw Fund, and anonymous donors.

All event proceeds benefit HOF’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery.

Thank You to Sunday in the Park Sponsors! 

 

October brings festivities and family-friendly fun to Historic Oakland Cemetery

In 1976, after decades of deterioration, vandalism, and general neglect, Oakland Cemetery found a rebirth of sorts when a small group of concerned and committed Atlantans rallied to restore the cemetery to its former glory. In 1977 the organization became a federally-recognized nonprofit organization, and this October Historic Oakland Foundation celebrates that 40th anniversary with a month full of activities perfect for fall.

On Sunday, Oct. 1 Oakland Cemetery hosts the 39th annual Sunday in the Park fall festival. This year’s Sunday in the Park will be free and open to the public, as HOF’s way of saying thanks to the thousands who have supported Oakland Cemetery over the last four decades.

“The past 40 years have been phenomenal for Oakland Cemetery. This is a crucial time in our organization’s growth, and we’re just as excited for what the future holds for HOF,” said David Moore, executive director of HOF. “We invite everyone to come out to Sunday in the Park, celebrate with us, learn something new, and spend a beautiful fall day in an unforgettable setting.”

During Sunday in the Park the cemetery will feature exhibits chronicling Oakland Cemetery and HOF’s evolution, as well as historical highlights for the city. The festival also includes a Victorian costume contest, living history demonstrations, live performances, kid’s crafts, an artist market, and much more. Sunday in the Park opens at noon and continues through 6 p.m.

Support HOF’s 40 in 40 campaign at Sunday in the Park!

Sunday in the Park caps off HOF’s 40 in 40 campaign, which began Aug. 23 and seeks to raise $40,000 in 40 days in celebration of the organization’s milestone anniversary. Though free to attend Sunday in the Park, donations are welcomed and also count toward the 40 in 40 fundraising goal, which supports a range of preservation, education, and public interest projects at Oakland Cemetery.

Following Sunday in the Park, Oakland is off to the races with the 10th annual Run Like Hell 5K on Oct. 14. This year’s race features a new, faster route spanning the cemetery, Memorial Drive Greenway Project, and Georgia State Capitol. Run Like Hell is a family-friendly race and an AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifier. Run Like Hell includes a Halloween costume contest, post-race activities, and the opportunity for participants to fundraise in support of HOF’s African American Grounds restoration project. Early race registration ends on Sept. 15, and registration closes on Oct. 11. Race details and registration available at www.itsyourrace.com.

Run with Oakland on Oct. 14!

The acclaimed Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours rounds out the month, with tours held over two weekends on Oct. 20-22 and Oct. 26-29. As one of the only opportunities to visit Oakland Cemetery after dark, Capturing the Spirit resurrects the stories of Oakland residents through vivid historic reenactments. Ticket sales for Capturing the Spirit broke records this year, with all tours selling out within a week of going on sale to the general public in July.

“Everything we do at HOF drives home our mission to uphold this unique historic landmark,” said Moore. “Through educational programming, special events, public outreach, and more, we showcase Oakland Cemetery as a one-stop repository of architecture, botanical gardens, modernity, and history.”

All proceeds from Oakland Cemetery’s special events and tours benefit HOF’s mission is to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta’s oldest public burial ground and treasured historic landmark. Event and ticketing details available by clicking here.

F.A.Q.: Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tour Sales

Enjoy historic Oakland Cemetery after dark at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours, an autumn tradition in Atlanta! One of the only times to experience Oakland Cemetery after dark, Capturing the Spirit brings to life the stories of some of the cemetery’s noted residents. A costumed docent guides you through the cemetery’s beautifully-lit Victorian gardens as you the stories of Atlanta’s sons and daughters come to life.

Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Tours will be held nightly Oct. 20-22 and Oct. 26-29. Tours begin at 5:30 p.m. and continue every 15 minutes until 10:30 p.m. Tours on Oct. 22 and Oct. 26 end at 9:30 p.m.

Tickets for tours Oct. 22 – Oct. 28 are SOLD OUT. An additional Capturing the Spirit tour date has been added for Sunday, Oct. 29. Tickets for that tour will go on sale to HOF members only from Sept. 2 through Sept. 4. Any tickets remaining after the members only pre-sale will be available to the general public beginning Sept. 5. Tickets are limited to six (6) per order.

Capturing the Spirit tickets are in high demand and have sold faster than ever in 2017. We strongly suggest becoming an HOF member to get early access to Oct. 29 tour date tickets.


When do tickets go on sale? 
Tickets to Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours are available in advance only, at Freshtix.com.

Tour tickets go on sale to Historic Oakland Foundation Members at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2. 

Tickets go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5. 

I’m an HOF Member. How do I purchase my tickets in advance?
In years past, HOF Members were sent a promo code to purchase advance tickets.
This year instead of a promo code, HOF Members will receive an e-mail containing a link to a private, HOF Members Only ticketing page at Freshtix.com. Member e-mails will be sent at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 2, in advance of tickets going on sale at 9 a.m.

If I join HOF between now and Sept. 2, can I still get early access to Halloween tickets?
Yes. To become a HOF Member, please click here. After completing your purchase, your HOF Membership confirmation receipt will include a link to the private, HOF Members Only link at Freshtix.com.

I didn’t receive my Members Only email. What do I do?
Ticketing e-mails will be sent to the e-mail address you used to purchase HOF Membership. Be sure to check your spam, junk, or clutter folder in your inbox to ensure e-mails from Historic Oakland Foundation weren’t sent there.

If your email address has changed or you cannot remember which e-mail address you used to become a Member, please contact info@oaklandcemetery.com with Subject Line: HOF Member Email.

How many tickets can I purchase? 
We understand that large groups may want to attend Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours.

There is a 6 ticket limit per household/credit card for this event. Orders exceeding the ticket limit may be cancelled without notice by Freshtix at its discretion. This includes duplicate orders having the same name, billing address, or credit card.

How much are tickets to Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours?
Tickets are $27 (plus taxes and fees) for adults, and $15 (plus taxes and fees) for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and under are free.

How do I purchase tickets on FreshTix? 

  • Use the arrow functions in the upper left corner (indicated in the green box below) to scroll the calendar to October.

  • Click on the “List View” button in the upper right corner (indicated in the green box below) to see a list of each tour time available for your selected date.

  • Select your desired tour time from the list. Please ensure you’ve carefully selected your preferred tour date and time before completing your transaction, as no refunds or exchanges will be issued.
  • Select the quantity of tickets from the drop-down menu. If the quantity of tickets exceeds available capacity, you will receive an error message:

  • If desired, select the quantity of t-shirts from the drop-down menu.
  • Proceed to checkout.

Can I purchase a Capturing the Spirit t-shirt? 
Limited-edition Capturing the Spirit of Oakland t-shirts are $28 (plus taxes and fees) for sizes S-XL and $30 (plus taxes and fees) for sizes XXL and XXXL.

T-shirts feature the 2017 Capturing the Spirit of Oakland design on the front, and this year’s featured tour residents on the reverse. Tees are long-sleeve and 100% cotton.

Your t-shirt will be available for pickup on the night of your tour. Please visit the Capturing the Spirit Pop-Up Shop and present your Freshtix receipt at pickup.

Each year Capturing the Spirit of Oakland features a new, unique tee design. Don’t forget to get yours!

Is Capturing the Spirit of Oakland family-friendly?
Designed to “enlighten, not frighten,” Capturing the Spirit of Oakland is family-friendly, but is recommended for children 8 and up.

 Can I bring a stroller to Capturing the Spirit of Oakland?
Yes, strollers are welcome. However, please note that some parts of Oakland Cemetery contain walkways that are narrow and uneven. Please use your discretion when planning your visit.

Is Oakland Cemetery wheelchair accessible?
Please note that as a historic site, some areas of Oakland Cemetery have uneven paths and are not ADA-accessible. Capturing the Spirit of Oakland tours last approximately one hour and the route is approximately one mile. Please be sure that you are capable of navigating the entire route.

Can I bring my dog along with me on the tour?
No. With the exception of service animals, dogs are not permitted during Capturing the Spirit.

Can I change my tour date or time after I’ve purchased my tickets?
No. Please ensure you’ve carefully selected your preferred tour date and time before completing your transaction, as no refunds or exchanges will be issued.

What if it rains during my tour?
Capturing the Spirit of Oakland is a rain or shine event. However, should serious inclement weather impact the event, tours will be cancelled and ticket holders will receive a pass good for two guided walking tours of Historic Oakland Cemetery.

This is a nighttime walking tour, so feel free to bring a flashlight or purchase one at the Visitors Center & Museum Shop. Be sure to wear clothing appropriate for the weather and comfortable shoes.

“Meet” a new bunch of residents each year!

I’ve been to Capturing the Spirit of Oakland before. Is this the same tour, or are there new characters?
Each year Capturing the Spirit of Oakland features new stories from new residents. You’ll never see the same tour twice!

How long is the tour route?
Capturing the Spirit of Oakland tours last approximately one hour and the route is approximately one mile.

Please note that as a historic site, some areas of Oakland Cemetery have uneven paths and are not ADA-accessible. Please be sure that you are capable of navigating the entire route.

During your tour, remain on the lighted pathway, as Historic Oakland Foundation and the City of Atlanta are not responsible for injuries incurred as a result of leaving the lighted path.

I have a question that’s not addressed here. Who should I contact?
If your question is related to online transactions on Freshtix, please contact Freshtix customer support by clicking here.

If your question is related to events at Oakland Cemetery, please contact info@oaklandcemetery.com or call 404-688-2107.

Historic Oakland Foundation offices are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-Th and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Due to the high volume of inquiries Capturing the Spirit of Oakland generates, please allow 1-2 business days for a response.

Historic Oakland Foundation’s Halloween tours win Georgia Historical Society award

Georgia Historical Society president and CEO Dr. Todd Groce, HOF Executive Director David Moore, and HOF Director of Special Events Mary Woodlan

Georgia Historical Society president and CEO Dr. W. Todd Groce, HOF Executive Director David Moore, and HOF Director of Special Events Mary Woodlan

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) recognized Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) with an award honoring the organization’s historic programming event, Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours.

During a private ceremony at historic Oakland Cemetery, GHS presented HOF with the Roger K. Warlick Local History Achievement Award. The awards recognize GHS affiliate chapters that demonstrate outstanding achievement in the field of public history across four categories: programs, exhibits, archival excellence, and media projects.

Offered during two weekends in October, HOF’s Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours are an Atlanta tradition and the only opportunity for visitors to experience the city’s oldest public cemetery after dark. Now in its 11th year, the tours present a rotating cast of characters who — through historical re-enactments — bring to life the stories of a few Oakland residents.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by Georgia’s premiere historic preservation institution,” said Mary Woodlan, director of special events at HOF. “We share this win with all of the staff, volunteers, attendees, sponsors, and supporters who help make Capturing the Spirit of Oakland possible.”

Volunteer LaDoris Davis portrayed Dr. Beatrice Thompson during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland.

Volunteer LaDoris Davis portrayed Dr. Beatrice Thompson during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland.

During the most recent Capturing the Spirit tours, HOF raised over $7,500 to help restore the final resting place of a trailblazing African American woman, Dr. Beatrice Thompson, and her sister Estella Henderson. Dr. Thompson graduated from medical school in 1901 before setting up a practice in Athens, Georgia — a rare accomplishment at the time for a woman, much less a woman of color. During her lifetime Dr. Thompson championed fellow entrepreneurs and invested in Athens’ first African American-owned pharmacy. Dr. Thompson’s sister is buried next to her and was similarly accomplished. Estella Henderson was a lawyer and professor at Atlanta’s Morris Brown College.

HOF saw an unprecedented outpouring of support for Dr. Thompson and Mrs. Henderson. In 2015 visitors donated over $2,400 to erect a headstone for William Jasper “The Goat Man” Franklin, and in 2013 over $2,000 was raised for madam Abbie Howard to get a headstone. Any overage not used for repairing the Thompson lot will be used to further the restoration of the African American Grounds, one of HOF’s large-scale restoration projects in 2017.

In 2015 HOF was named GHS Affiliate Chapter of the Year for its exceptional work in the field of public history. Past Warlick award recipients include: the Bulloch County Historical Society,  the Cherokee County Historical Society, and Historic Augusta, Inc.