Today we will be covering some Savannah haunted cemetery stories of the old railway system.
Story provided by: Shannon Scott
Welcome to Bonaventure Cemetery, on this beautiful spring in April. My name is Shannon Scott and I am a tour guide that leads several of our 6thSenseWorld walking Tours and haunted cemetery tours in Savannah, Ga. During this episode I will feature the untold and not so common Savannah haunted cemetery stories of the conductors and engineers buried here in Bonaventure Cemetery. I just wrapped up with a lovely group of people it’s kind of a hot day today, but I still decided to take a moment to share with you a visual of the plot which overlooks the Wilmington River beyond the foliage in the distance. This is perhaps one of the lesser appreciated sections in the Bonaventure Cemetery where 50 or so Railway Engineers are buried. Their cemetery plot was built overlooking the internal rivers for the conductors. The order of railway conductors home used to sit across the river on Oatland Island. You can’t really see that today, but across the river was a retirement home built by the Central Railway of Georgia and they spared no expense on that home.
(Pictured above: home of the Order of Central Railway Conductors.) I spent several years investigating the retirement home on the haunted level, and it was a very haunted building. We’ll cover some of my haunted stories from Savannah in future episodes.
(Pictured above: Burial plot of the retired conductors and engineers at Bonaventure Cemetery. Around 50 or so railway conductors and engineers were buried here. Usually you can view the retirement home from across the rivers.)
For its time the retirement home on Oat Island was a very fine building. The property has since been converted to a wildlife center called Oatland island wildlife center where you can see bison, wolves, eagles, and all kinds of stuff. But when you’re there and standing on the old balcony of that conductors retirement home you realize there were men glancing back to the location across from the river in Bonaventure Cemetery where they knew they would one day be buried.
In my mind these conductors were kind of like the astronauts of the early continental United States. I mean you think about them riding the railways, in let’s say those “iron horses”. They were pioneers in a lot of ways. Definitely putting their lives at risk, hoping that the train didn’t break down in the middle of nowhere or that they weren’t attacked by Indians. It’s amazing to think what these guys buried at the plot in the Bonaventure Cemetery saw in their life time. Many of their stories are left untold, and will one day be dug up.
Buried in the cemetery are several large names such as “Hiram Hyatt” and “Jessie Hyatt” whom may have contributed to the early success of the “Hyatt” family line. You have to wonder if these men where connected to the “Hyatt” Hotel at all? Maybe this is how the family got it’s start here in America back in the day.
Another name from the conductor’s cemetery plot is literally “John F. Kennedy”, born 1869. We do know that Kennedy was actually connected to the modern “Kennedy” family line of the white house family.
It really makes you wonder about the many stories that exist out here. Stay tuned because I will begin to uncover several of the stories. Not just in video, and on the website – but also live during the haunted tours and cemetery tours conducted by me at 6thSenseWorld.