By Pamela Henman
Kicking off its 40th anniversary celebration, Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) opened its 2016 tour season with an updated version of its popular “Sights, Symbols, and Stories of Oakland” guided overview tour, as well as new additions to its tour program.
Historic Oakland Cemetery’s full tour season opened on March 19, with “Sights, Symbols, and Stories” offered at 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 4:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, followed by a rotating lineup of over 15 special topic tours offered at 6:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The 90-minute “Sights, Symbols, and Stories” tour covers Oakland’s Victorian-era gardens, remarkable architecture, and some of the notable histories of the cemetery’s more than 70,000 residents. The revamped version of the tour includes new stops and expanded narrative at existing stops.
HOF was established in 1976, when Oakland Cemetery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Through expert historic preservation efforts, robust programming, and strong community involvement, HOF upholds its mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Atlanta’s oldest municipal burial ground. The Foundation partners with the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain the cemetery and make it an attractive, inviting space for all.
The full tour season continues through mid-October, and includes the May debut of a new special topic tour, “From Terminus to Terminals: People Who Put Atlanta in Motion.” The hour-long walking tour features a number of Oakland Cemetery residents who paved the way to making Atlanta the transport hub it is today. In June, the cemetery hosts a commemorative tour recognizing the 80th anniversary of the publication of resident Margaret Mitchell’s iconic novel Gone with the Wind.
“The Foundation saw tremendous development and growth in 2015, and we’re continuing the momentum during our milestone anniversary,” said David Moore, executive director of HOF. “We invite locals and visitors alike to join us throughout the year, as we celebrate the organization working for Oakland Cemetery, the most tangible link to our city, state, and region’s history.”
The tour season launch coincides with HOF’s ongoing March Membership Month membership drive, which gives new, renewing or referring HOF members a chance to win daily prizes from Oakland Cemetery and nearly a dozen Atlanta attractions and restaurants. HOF membership benefits include free admission to any of Oakland Cemetery’s guided walking tours, advance ticketing to special events, and more.
“Our members help sustain Historic Oakland Foundation,” Moore said. “As we launch our tours and special events season, there’s no better time to become a part of our mission to preserve and protect historic Oakland.”
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