Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hidden Under the Magnolia Trees

Where can you expect to find large, beautiful trees, ponds reflecting the sunlight, and wonderful views of the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge?  A park of course, but how about a cemetery?

Magnolia Cemetery is a gorgeous Victorian Era cemetery off the beaten path of Charleston.  It is a time capsule to some of Charleston's interesting and unique history.  Since its opening in 1850, it has interred approximately 35,000 people including veterans, Confederate generals, and even the three crews of the CSA Hunley.

When you first enter Magnolia Cemetery, there are two main roads you can take.  If you go to the left, you'll eventually find yourself at Greenhill Loop.  Greenhill Loop is a small loop of road towards the back of the cemetery where you can find some of its newest residents.  If you look beyond the graves, there are stunning views of the Ravenel Bridge and the marsh that accompanies the back of the cemetery.  If you take a right, you'll see grave sites such as the Vanderhorst mausoleum, the Hunley Crews, and the Civil War soldiers burial site.

Greenhill Loop located at the back left corner of the cemetery.


The overall layout of Magnolia Cemetery is wonderful.  The many trees and other plants give it a comfortable feeling.  The bridges and paths only add to the park feeling.  Even the grave markers give off a feeling of being in a sculpture garden rather than a cemetery.

The view from the back of Greenhill Loop.

Out of all of the grave markers and monuments at Magnolia Cemetery, there are three in particular that I would consider my favorite.

1) Gibbes Mausoleum.
The Gibbes mausoleum is one of my favorites because of the statues on its left and right sides, the urn at the top, and the grass on the roof.  It has a fence surrounding the mausoleum.  This mausoleum holds 9 members from the Gibbes family that goes back to the 1600s and was constructed in the late 1880's (In the Arms of Angels).

A view of the Gibbes Mausoleum.

2) Rosalie Raymond White Grave
This grave marker has to be one of the creepiest at Magnolia Cemetery, and that is why it is one of my three favorites.  This grave marker is of a child, Rosalie Raymond White, who died in 1882 of cyanosis (In the Arms of Angels).  What makes this grave marker so creepy is not the fact that it is shaped like a baby carriage, or that it has flowers and toys around it, but because it has the death mask of Rosalie on it.  
Grave of Rosalie Raymond White featuring her death mask.

3) Lipinski Mausoleum
I am very interested in Mausoleums, especially this one.  This massive mausoleum belongs to the Lipinski family.   A famous member of this family is Tara Lipinski, who won a gold medal in figure skating at the 1998 winter Olympics.

 The Lipinski's are all currently living with the exception of the one family member that is already a resident of this masterpiece.  It's gorgeous structure and stained glass windows definitely add to it.  The pathway leading up to the door and the benches that surround it make it a lovely place to sit and relax.  All of the features of this masterpiece definitely bring home the gold (yes I know that was a corny joke).
The Lipinski Mausoleum from the front.

Overall, Magnolia Cemetery has a certain charm that can't be replicated in today's memorial cemeteries.  Visiting this cemetery is a great way to escape the rush of downtown.  Its 150 acres leave me finding something new every time I visit.
Me at the back of Magnolia Cemetery at Greenhill Loop with the Ravenel Bridge to my right.
Until next time,
Jorden





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