Brochure to focus on historic cemetery

Published 8:54 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The City of Bainbridge will use state grant money to help create a brochure showcasing historic sites, including Oak City Cemetery.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Bainbridge City Council approved the conditions of a grant awarded by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division.

The $2,400 grant will be used to produce a brochure outlining how visitors and residents can take walking or driving tours of local historic sites. The city is only required to put up matching funds equal to 40 percent of the grant, but will actually contribute $1,600 to make it a $4,000 project.

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City Manager Chris Hobby said the brochure will be professionally produced. Oak City Cemetery will be the focus of the brochure produced with the grant, but there may be an opportunity to create more, similar brochures in the future, Hobby said.

According to the online cemetery database, there are more than 1,300 interments in Oak City Cemetery, including at least four famous people: former Georgia Governor Samuel Marvin Griffin; popular 1930’s Hollywood actress Miriam Hopkins; and former U.S. Congressmen Maston Emmett O’Neal Jr. (1907-1990) and Benjamin Edward Russell (1845-1909).

A number of Civil War veterans were also buried in Oak City Cemetery.

According to the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Oak City Cemetery had long been home to an Indian village before Bainbridge was settled. The site was made into a cemetery in 1853, when William H. Peabody was buried there. His grave is located next to the powder house, where gun powder was stored during the Civil War.

A few scenes in the faith-based feature film “Fishers of Men,” which was shot in Bainbridge last fall, were filmed in Oak City Cemetery.

Once the brochure is created, it will be available at the Southwest Georgia Welcome Center on Dothan Road, at City Hall and at local lodgings, Hobby said.