Rose Hill Cemetery was, at the time of its development, envisioned by its designer Simri Rose as a park as well as a final resting place for the citizens of Macon, Georgia. Set in a scenic location on the banks of the Ocmulgee river, it was opened in 1840 and quickly became a town favorite for Sunday picnics and long walks.
When the rock band the Allman Brothers moved to the city in 1969, the cemetery, the largest and oldest in Macon, proved a great place to hang out and write their songs. Two of the band’s members—lead guitarist Duane Allman and bass guitarist Berry Oakley—were buried in the cemetery after their tragic deaths within a year of each other. Oakley was buried in a grave next to Allman’s, and the two are among the most well-known occupants of Rose Hill. It’s also the resting place of Duane’s brother Gregg Allman who recently passed away.
Also among the cemetery’s famed occupants is the final resting place of Lieutenant Bobby, a brown terrier who was the official mascot of the 121st infantry in the Georgia National Guard. The pooch was commissioned as Lieutenant by President Calvin Coolidge for his regular attendance at training in Fort Benning.
Macon was a key location during the Civil War and the cemetery has a section dedicated to the Confederate soldiers who fought in it, particularly during the Atlanta campaign. More than 600 Confederate soldiers are buried at Soldier’s Square, which overlooks the river, in addition to hundreds buried in unmarked graves across the cemetery.
Know Before You Go
Look for a grave with a statue of a little girl named Martha. She was the inspiration for the Allman Brothers song "Little Martha".