Lane Gresham and Brooks Garcia join Jennie to tell the stories of those buried in the Old Clarkesville Cemetery in Clarkesville, Georgia. They will introduce us to "the meanest man in Georgia", one of the first great photographers, a young man who lost his life in a tragic farming accident, and many others. They also talk about their many restoration efforts from repairing and preserving tombstones to bringing back many of the original flowers and plants of the Victorian era. Come along as we visit this truly ordinary, extraordinary cemetery where "they dig the dead!"
Resources for this episode include:
Books by James R. Cothran:
1. Gardens of Historic Charleston
2. Gardens of Historical plants of the Antebellum South
3. Charleston Gardens and the Landscape Legacy of Loutrel Briggs
Head of Landscaping
Brooks was born in Atlanta, attended The Lovett School and then the University of Georgia where he majored in Landscape Architecture and received his BLA. Garcia then toured Europe and studied classical garden design.
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After working for the renowned garden designer Ryan Gainey, Brooks launched his own garden design firm, Fine Gardens, which he headed for almost 25 years. Fine Gardens specialized in high-end residential design.
While in Atlanta, Brooks served on the board of Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia and helped open the historic Fuller Callaway home and gardens to the public. He also served on the board of The Historic Oakland Foundation which is charged with the restoration and preservation of Historic Oakland Cemetery. He also worked at the cemetery as a gardener helping to plant and maintain the Victorian-style gardens there.
He brings with him his six years of experience of working at Oakland to the Old Clarkesville Cemetery board and project. It is his desire to bring the Old Clarkesville Cemetery back to the Victorian splendor that it once might have been.
What brought this new resident to Habersham county was a lifelong desire to fulfill his dream of living in the mountains, owning property and farming. He designed his Tuscan style villa and oversaw its construction in Demorest. When asked if he misses Atlanta he responds, “Where!?” “I have never been happier in my life than I have been living here.”
E. Lane Gresham relocated with her family to Habersham County in 1999 seeking a deeper connection to community.
Her career in Habersham County has always been community-focused.
Lane, a writer and photographer, is currently serving as the Director of Community Relations for Tallulah Falls School. Prior to working at TFS, she served as the editor of The Northeast Georgian.
She is a member of the Clarkesville City Council and serves as an advisory board member for the Commercial Photography program at North Georgia Technical College. She also serves on the steering committee for the Habersham Chamber of Commerce sponsored professional women’s organization, SOAR.
She is a past member of several other boards and committees including Habersham 200 [Habersham County’s Bicentennial committee], the Georgia Literary Festival, The Little School, the Sautee-Nacoochee Community Association and the Foothills Photography Group.