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The surprising Hollywood Cemetery

I had a tough time finding a really old aerial photo of Hollywood Cemetery; in fact, it took more than a year to track down the 1938 picture you see on this page.

I enhanced this image to bring out some detail, but the fact is . . . you just can't make it more detailed than it really is.

And a bit of scaling and cropping makes the old and new pictures just about the same size so that we can compare them.

Enter the cemetery at your own risk.
Today, most of the cemetery is overgrown and difficult to access. But it's this inaccessibility that makes it worthwhile.

Unlike today's cemeteries (or should I say "memorial parks?"), you cannot easily wander around and read the inscriptions. You must watch every step you take. Trees, bushes, briars, poison ivy, kudzu, vines, and lots of cemetery plants that have escaped their vases and spread—they're all there. Then you have the loose and collapsing walls around the plots, holes from long-gone tree stumps, sunken graves. fallen (and falling) limbs, and slippery, steep slopes.

Hollywood Cemetery tree roots breaking stair and wall of family plot

But it's worth it because it is really a beautiful and wild place with lots of surprises, like these two gravestones covered with ivy.

Two gravestone covered with ivy: Hollywood Cemetery

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Atlanta Constitution article: April 2, 1893

news article about Hollywood Cemeter lots


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Hollywood Cemetery in 1938 and 2012

Three out of four main sections of the cemetery are heavily wooded in 2012 (color photo). But in this 1938 photo, everything is fairly open. The Tiered Section is recognizable by a group of parallel lines (at an angle) just below center. The clearly visible roads and trails in the cemetery are mostly indiscernible today.

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Last update: April 7, 2014