Alta Vista (Altavista) Cemetery
County:Hall
City:Gainesville
Type:Cemetery
Alta vista (or altavista, if you prefer). The name means "high view" in Spanish, and this old cemetery certainly has a wonderful vantage point overlooking the rolling hills of the Georgia Piedmont. This peaceful spot near the growing city of Gainesville has been a cemetery since the city was known as Mule Camp Springs. Today Altavista is a city cemetery that draws people who come to visit, among other graves, the popular tomb of Gainesville's most famous resident -- James Longstreet. As a young man James Longstreet served under the command of Robert E. Lee and fought at Gettysburg, Chickamauga and many other major battles. He was a greatly revered leader of men.

After the war, Longstreet embraced the Republicans, which made going pretty tough for the former officer in the Democratic South. Still, he returned to Gainesville to run a successful inn, and to marry a young, pretty woman. Today his grave is by far the most popular in the cemetery, with both an American Flag and a Confederate Flag flying to mark the site. On a recent visit, someone had left the general a couple of cigars.

Other people of note buried in Alta Vista Cemetery are Astronaut Manley Lanier ("Sonny") Carter, who flew on a space shuttle mission (STS-33). He died in an airplane crash at Brunswick, Georgia on April 5, 1989. At that time he was scheduled to return to space on STS-42. Other people of note buried at Alta Vista Cemetery include longtime U. S. House member from Georgia Thomas Bell, James Milton Smith, who became the first Democrat Georgia Governor after Reconstruction, and Allen Daniel Candler who also served as governor of Georgia.

Location: 521 Jones Road, Gainesville, GA
Directions: From Atlanta: Take I-85 north to I-985 (47 miles from downtown). At Gainesville exit #113 get off and go south on East GA Highway 53 (locally referred to as the Winder Highway or Mundy Mill Road). In .3 miles turn left on GA Highway 13 (after 2.3 miles this becomes Atlanta Road). At 4.8 miles turn left on Pearl Nix Parkway (West Bypass) and continue to the cemetery on the right after .5 miles (Jones Road?)
Additional information:
Phone-770.535.6883
Date added: November 16, 2003
Last update: January 23, 2004



Cemetery Listing
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