By Jeannette Holland Austin
If you wish to discover the first families in Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery is the place to look. It was founded in 1850 and is the final resting place of those who built Atlanta. The beautiful tombs and vaults set in a garden atmosphere are but a memory of days long since past. The cemetery was closed to burials sometime before 1890, however, people who owned lots were buried there afterwards. Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind is such a person. The book History of Fulton County lists the early residents of Atlanta in their various political capacities. It is fun to recognize some of the names in this cemetery. In essence, if your family resided near downtown Atlanta in the old days, best do a walk-through.