Meeting Miss Lawton

In Boneventure Cemetery, there is but one monument that stands out among the rest. Although it is not towering high, or even massive in volume, it has drawn myself as well as hundreds of others to seek it. It’s a plain statue. A portrait of stone. To say it is simple would be unjust, but it truly is. It’s just a young girl, in the likeness of the deceased, posed ever so appropriately at the side of her own grave. She looks as if she is weeping for the loss of herself. But alas, she is not weeping. She has no eyes, no true expression, just spheres of stone. If you look close enough, you may see them. You may even believe them to move. Her mouth is posed open, in just a slight way. You cannot tell if it is meant to express surprise, loss, confusion, helplessness, hopelessness. Part of you wants to tell her that she will be okay. But then you realize, she is not real. It’s an illusion and an image which has ingrained itself into the minds and continues to haunt all of those who visit… Including myself.

Her epitaph reads, “Allured to brighter worlds and led the way.” What a beautiful sentiment. Such a nice way of indicating someone has passed. I can somehow picture the statue, coming to life, with her flowy dress and clutching her flowery wreath, running through the flowers and trees, finding a brighter world. All the while, the mortals (we) follow her lead…Not knowing what is next, but following, nevertheless…

There are many tails about Corinne Elliott Lawton, the person who came before the corpse who now lies in this plot. Stories have spun through the centuries until a tale of unattainable love and suicide is concocted, and is now fed to tour groups daily. Alas, it is but a fable.

Corinne, living in the dark times she did, was stricken by an illness. According to her mother’s diary from around that time, it appeared to be a severe respiratory infection of some sort. Or perhaps even a dreadful common cold. (Yellow Fever epidemic? Pneumonia? The Flu?) Days passed, and Corinne appeared to be doing better, however the illness reared its ugly head once more and finally took Corinne down with it. Written in her mother’s diary, Corinne drew her last breath on January 24th, 1877.

Corinne’s father was of nobility, of high rank in the confederate army, hence the elaborate statue you find in Boneventure. He commissioned a famous Italian artist to create the likeness of his beloved daughter and turn her into stone. Now she sits there eternally.

He did a fine job.

Meet Corinne.



boneventure-2 boneventure-3

To The Heavens

As strange as it may sound, Bonventure Cemetery in Savannah Georgia may be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The towering oak trees are hundreds of years old, and so are some of its permanent residents. My favorite thing about this old place, however, is the art. If it were anywhere else, it would be ordinary.



Canon 6D with 50mm f/1.2L, adjusted in Lightroom.

A few more to come…

Rose Hill Cemetery

One of my most recent adventures was last Sunday. Instead of church, we found peace and spirituality in another, more unusual place. We participated (somewhat) in the Rose Hill Ramble, which is held every Sunday before Halloween. It was a large group of people and one man with a megaphone wandering through Macon’s largest historic cemetery (and one of my personal favorites), Rose Hill. I’ve been known to ramble through Rose Hill in years past with my old Canon Rebel XS. The intentions were good, but it was difficult to hear, and people’s heads were interfering with my photo taking. We wound up wandering off from the large group and my creative juices started flowing. I took a few shots and threw them in Lightroom to play around with the colors/contrast. I feel like in old/abandoned/cemetery photography, there is a little more leeway for creative edits… as long as they are not overdone. I’ll go back one day when it’s not as hot… and I can drive my car. πŸ™‚

Here’s what I came up with…



Lord knows I love a creeping vine on a tombstone.



There is something so beautiful and peaceful about the Son and the sun…



John B. Ross, another famous occupant of Rose Hill. An 8 year old little boy who aspired to be a fireman when he grew up. Read the blog post about him by Stephanie Lincecum HERE.



Ellen Gertrude headstone. 9 year old girl who died in 1859 from Scarlet Fever. Stephanie Linececum of Rose Hill blog wrote about her,Β READ HERE.




Dr. Robert Collins family plot statue: read about his wife and her sister HERE. (Great history lesson!)




Dr. George Pierce Gostin, M.D. headstone. Died in 1912, age 60.Β It reads:Β In my Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


Which one do you like best? Tell me what you think…



On a side note, the 24-70mm is a beast. It’s so sharp and intuitive. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I finally took the dive and bought it.

All photos taken with Canon 6D and 24-70mm f/2.8L Mk II lens with UV filter & hood. Edited in digital darkroom.