Westview Cemetery opened in October of 1884 and has nearly six-hundred acres of land. That’s a lot of land on the west side of Atlanta. It was designed to be the premier cemetery in the Southeast. It is certainly one of the largest in the country. I like visiting here better than going to Oakland in the city. There are so many notable people here that it would be impossible to list then all.
During the past century, more than 108,000 interments have taken place in Westview. The Woodruffs ended up with a good part of the Coca Cola fortune but not before the Candlers controlled the main interest for years. Thus the reason people place bottles of Coke on their grave sites.
Part of the battle of Atlanta (Ezra Church) was fought here during the Civil War.
Anne had never seen it and our visit was so short that she barely saw a small portion of it.
A little history—Confederate Colonel John Pemberton was wounded in the Civil War and became addicted to morphine. He also had a medical degree and began a quest to find a substitute for the problematic drug. What he discovered was Coca Cola that years ago contained a touch of cocaine. The first sales of Coca Cola were at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 8, 1886. It initially sold for five cents a glass. Pemberton’s new drink was marketed and sold as a patent medicine and as a cure for many diseases, including morphine addiction, indigestion, nerve disorders, and headaches. It probably did the trick! Today, “cocaine” of course, is not a part of the secret mixture.
By 1888, three versions of Coca-Cola – sold by three separate businesses – were on the market. A co-partnership had been formed on January 14, 1888, a verbal statement given by Asa Candler who years later asserted under testimony that he had acquired a stake in Pemberton’s company. For $50 down and $500 in 30 days, Walker, Candler & Co. obtained all of the one-third interest in the Coca-Cola Company. Then on April 17, 1888, all interest shares were acquired by Candler for an additional $750 making Asa Candler the sole owner of Coca Cola! It was a small investment with a huge return!
Then there’s the final resting place of Henry Grady—once mayor of Atlanta and the founder of Grady Memorial Hospital where thousands of lives have been saved. Our “cancel culture” has recently tried to “cancel” him and while you can’t see it in this photo, his tomb has been vandalized. If you don’t preserve history, you can’t learn from your mistakes—just saying!
I absolutely love walking through Westview with my camera. You could spend days there and never see it all.
Here’s what we call the Treat Angel. All the dogs I have had immediately go up to this statue and look up at her. I thought I got a photo of Wessy meeting her for the first time but I didn’t. This angel was Cocoa’s favorite. And you can see, Wessy is sitting by her side smiling. Amazingly, I did not ask Wessy to do this—she just did it! For me, this is the most interesting part of Westview. Here’s the link to one of Cocoa’s visits to see her.
Sarah Staley gave her life for the education of others. She was one of the first professors at Toccoa Falls College. I became interested in her life; and years ago searched for her grave. When I found it in Westview, I saw that it did not have a marker. Several of us went together and paid for a headstone. I think Sarah would have been grateful but may have thought it unnecessary because she knew that her life was already “marked” in God’s book of life. Sad note about Sarah’s life: she died during the flu epidemic in 1917 but could not be buried until months later. The ground was too hard from the winter cold. Graves then were dug out with picks and shovels. So, she was placed along with others in a nearby large tomb until the ground was thawed out enough!
Joel Chandler Harris—newspaper man, author, and historian. Anne wants to visit his house in Westend. Maybe one day, when Wessy is not along for the ride!
Finally, here’s a parting shot of my shoes and jeans! It’s an Atlanta thing! Pollen is everywhere and we did not realize it was all over us until we got ready to leave. When I lived in Atlanta, we called this “Atlanta Snow.” It’s pine pollen and usually does not cause any allergy distress but it is very yellow!