The Bonaventure Cemetery Tour

Well, we did it.

Let's do this thang.

Let’s do this thang.

We went on the Bonaventure Cemetery Tour.  We chose to go to the one that’s given the 2nd Sunday of the month by the Bonaventure Historical Society.  It’s free, and we were interested in finding out what stories, if any, were being told by this group about Corinne Elliott Lawton.

While Sugar signed the guestbook, I stepped into the next room which had memorial photos of famous folks buried here.  I really thought that I would be able to read the names from the photographs, but I can’t.  Perhaps I can go back and enlarge the original photos on my computer and read them, and then update this post.  Perhaps.  Probably not.








It’s Alexander Robert Lawton, Corinne’s father, also called A.R.L. in Corinne’s mother’s diary.


We gathered at a meeting place at the intersection of Mullryne and Wiltberger Ways.  We learned from the website that we should wear comfortable walking shoes and to bring water.


The BHS representative is introducing our guide, Mrs. Ford.


And to think I was worried that I would get to hot and wouldn’t be able to keep up. Mrs. Ford set the standard for comfort by wearing white pants, a *jacket*, a cute straw hat, and espadrilles. I was shamed.

Our first stop was a marker that memorialized the early burials.  Some of the locations of the graves are not known.  Some were moved here from other burial locations.












We started out the tour with maybe 20 people.  Stragglers kept joining us during the tour until there were at least 40 people.


The ladies in the right of the photo moved between these bushes to get a better look at the tour guide.  Never, never step between bushes in this part of the country without waving your hand up and down in front of you.  This is very important because you must break the spider webs that are built between the bushes.  Because spider webs have residents.  The shorter woman was the perfect height.  She stepped between the bushes and started waving at her hair.  I said, “It’s just a fly.  I got it.”  I couldn’t tell the nice tourist that she had a spider in her hair.  The tour would probably end right there, what with all the screaming.




Sugar saw the “Branch” threshold and decided that these were his people, related to Christopher Branch. We have no proof.


We’re gathered now outside the famous memorial to “Little Gracie”. Her statue has had to be fenced in because it was considered good luck to rub her nose, which was causing considerable wear.


And now, Sugar discovers a true relative while everyone else is looking at the plot opposite.  This is George Mosse Norton, buried in the Norton plot.  Of course.



The Norton Plot


This is the Rauer plot, and these folks are related to Henry C. Cunningham, who was the brother-in-law to Corinne Elliott Lawton, and he was the father of Sarah Alexander Cunningham who donated her collection of family papers to the Georgia Historical Society.




And by this time there are so many people in the crowd, and we are lagging to the back like bad students on a field trip, that we missed the speech at the Baldwin plot.  When we went back after the tour to look at this plot, we found that the people in this plot were related to Corinne’s mother, Sarah Alexander Lawton from Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia.  (This means that we are going to have to go to Washington.  Georgia, that is.)

And then we move on to the Lawton plot.


Mrs. Ford perched on the threshold, and spoke a bit about the Lawtons, mostly about Corinne’s mother, Sarah.  She did not mention Corinne.  At.  All.

Hmmm.  Interesting.  We don’t know what that means.

I went back into the Rauer plot to take some more photos, and because I didn’t thoroughly read the details of the tour, I didn’t know that we weren’t supposed to go in the plots.  Oops, me.









And we found the Stoddard plot, whose family was associated with the Lawtons.

IMG_4906 IMG_4907




And we’re at the end of the tour.  So we went on a little tour of our own.


I was attempting to get a nice shot of this tree, which was clearly unsuccessful.


And yet I try again.


We walked over to the river, and Sugar spotted something.




I used the zoom feature on the camera and found that Dub Foster’s marker is on the rocks.


We headed back to the Norton plot so that Sugar could visit with his folks.  Do you remember the name George Mosse?  I’ve written about him before.  The Mosses intermarried with the Nortons.  See, we can’t go anywhere without finding people that Sugar is related to.




The threshold to the Norton plot.



And that’s our tour!  I’m still curious to take the paid tour.  I keep getting hits on the blog with the search term “Corinne Lawton”.  Are they still talking about her?

I suspect they are.  The billboard is a dead (pardon the pun) giveaway, which is a blog for another day.


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5 Responses to “The Bonaventure Cemetery Tour”

  1. Pierre Lagacé Says:

    I see I am not the only one who loves cemeteries.
    I have made a few corrections to my last post. I was too excited maybe.

    Thanks for visiting.


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Pierre, we’ve never taken a tour with a group before, only our own self-guided tours. This particular cemetery has tours available year-round.
      I enjoy your blog! Thank you for writing!


    • ruthrawls Says:

      Yes! I know what you mean. I have so much to talk about, or rather to put out there into the big world, that I have started two more blogs.
      We found an old cemetery named Colonel Lawton Cemetery, what was most likely begun as an early slave burying ground named after Alexander James Lawton, who is Sugar’s great-great-grandfather.
      We thought that not very many people were buried there, because there weren’t very many markers. I started looking at the death certificates on beginning in 1915, and I’ve already in one month found more than *100*! There are no official records before 1915. The blog is at
      I’ve also done the same for another cemetery at


      • Pierre Lagacé Says:

        It’s a never-ending quest… I try stopping but there is always something that comes up like that headstone of Agnes Lagaser. There is even an error on her birthdate! It can’t be 1852. It’s 1851.

        Liked by 1 person

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