Field Notes from Clay Family Cemetery

These are the field notes I collected while performing my Built Environment Description at the Clay Family Cemetery in the neighborhood of Kirkwood. In this instance, I decided to use the method we learned in class of creating two columns, one for objective and one for subjective, so that I could make sure I was only including the objective features of this site in my...

Field Notes from Clay Family Cemetery

These are the field notes I collected while performing my Built Environment Description at the Clay Family Cemetery in the neighborhood of Kirkwood. In this instance, I decided to use the method we learned in class of creating two columns, one for objective and one for subjective, so that I could make sure I was only including the objective features of this site in my...

External Built Environment Analysis: Clay Family Cemetery

For my Built Environment Analysis, I chose the Clay Family Cemetery located at 31 Clifton Street NE in the neighborhood of Kirkwood, Atlanta. This burial ground was created when Jesse Clay emigrated here from Virginia in 1826, with headstone dates ranging from 1860 to 1936, with unmarked burials continuing into the early 1970’s. The Clay property made up one third of the current neighborhood of Kirkwood, with the other two plots being from the properties of the Kirkpatrick’s and the Dunwoody’s (hence the name “Kirkwood”). The graveyard is bordered on 3 sides by yards and houses and on the fourth side by Clifton Street. The dilapidated front fence had a gate with the family name “Clay” on it in white block letters. The ground is mostly red Georgia clay with piles of leaves and some patches of yellow wildflowers. When I arrived at around 1:00PM there were birds chirping and a woodpecker softly pecking. The air smelled like any other partially wooded Georgia neighborhood with a slightly smoky tint that I assume was coming from someone’s fireplace. The cemetery was obviously quite old as a good many of the graves were crumbling and beginning to tip while others were already toppled over completely. Another indicator of its age was the presence of many short graves occupied by children who likely died of diseases that are now easily preventable. I also found a seemingly morbid amount of gravestones whose inhabitants were only 18 to 21 years old when they died. The graves were somewhat datable by their type. The oldest graves had headstones which were elaborately decorated with granite Victorian-style...
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