Historic Macon Foundation supports the Friends of Rose Hill by staffing its committee and working with committee members to carry out the Rose Hill Master Plan. Community Foundation of Central Georgia holds the Rose Hill endowment monies that are used for Rose Hill's preservation.

The new Rose Hill website is live! On this site, visitors can learn more about Rose Hill, upcoming events, and search the database.

Visit the Rose Hill website to search the cemetery directory.

Please note that some factual information, i.e., contact information, membership details, etc. on the site needs to be updated. We are working to make changes to this information. Contact Kim Campbell at kcampbell@historicmacon.org or Chris Howard at cadhoward@gmail.com for more information. You may also call Historic Macon’s offices at (478) 742-5084 to speak with Kim.

rose hill annual meeting

The Rose Hill Annual Meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 9 from 5:30-7pm at the Sidney Lanier Cottage. During the Annual Meeting, updates will be provided on improvements made at Rose Hill Cemetery. Scarlet Jernigan, who wrote her dissertation on Rose Hill Cemetery, will provide a talk about Rose Hill. This talk will discuss the adoption of the rural cemetery, a Unitarian innovation, here in Macon, Georgia. Topics discussed will include background on the rural cemetery movement, which aimed to naturalize and beautify burial grounds by placing them on the edge of town, and the difference between most Georgians' view of reform, death and the rural cemetery movement and the views of Unitarians.

The Rose Hill Annual Meeting is free for Friends of Rose Hill and members of Historic. Non-members are $5 and students are $3. The meeting begins with a reception from 5:30pm to 6pm following a formal presentation at 6pm.

Scarlet Jernigan


Scarlet Jernigan earned her B.A. and M.S. in history from Pensacola Christian College. She then taught high school history and geography in northern Virginia for eight years before returning to graduate school. Her subsequent master’s thesis at Texas Christian University focused on six Atlanta-area Southern Baptist churches’ responses to the civil rights movement, which required spending a lot of time one summer at Mercer in the Jack Tarver Library’s Special Collections, during which time she was completely unaware of the existence of Rose Hill Cemetery. Master’s thesis on Southern Baptists completed and M.A. in hand—the road to the Ph.D. still entailed the completion of a dissertation, which had to be written about something (of note, hopefully). One must ask: how did Scarlet transition from being completely ignorant of Rose Hill to spending many hours in the Middle Georgia heat (and cold) in said cemetery, photographing and recording the coordinates of antebellum graves as well as digging through the archives for any mention of Rose Hill or death? Well, when completing a graduate research paper, the idea of the Victorian “beautiful death”—the perception of death as beautiful and desirable—fascinated her. One facet of the “beautiful death” was the rural cemetery movement. A native Georgian, who believes that entirely too much time has been spent studying those moldy New England cemeteries, she searched for an example of a rural cemetery in Georgia and discovered Bruce Earnheart’s 1989 UGA master’s thesis Rose Hill Cemetery: Derivation, Development, Degeneration, which introduced someone from the Atlanta suburbs to Macon’s “garden of the dead” and, by extension, to Macon itself. Her TCU dissertation in progress is entitled “Religious Life and the Southern Way of Death in Macon, Georgia, 1830-1860.”

Rose Hill Ramble

Historic Macon and the Friends of Rose Hill host Rose Hill Rambles every October and April. The next ramble will take place on Sunday, October 30, 2016 from 2-4pm. Rambles are $5. Friends of Rose Hill can attend for free.


In June of this year, the Community Foundation of Central Georgia awarded the Friends of Rose Hill Cemetery $30,000 to investigate connecting the cemetery to the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and to design and install some interpretive signage in the Oak Ridge section. In exploring the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail connection, the first step was a survey of the land where a connection would run, which was completed in July. Currently we are looking at what permits we would need to connect the trail and exploring options for what the connection would actually look like. For the Oak Ridge signage initiative, we have are setting a meeting with stakeholders in the government as well as the community to discuss content and placement. Once the content is finalized, we will begin designing this signage. Installation will be complete before March of 2017.


The Friends have also just applied for two other grants to assist with projects in the cemetery. The Burke Foundation grant specifically looks at improvements in historic Catholic cemeteries, so we applied for $50,000 over two years to repair the retaining walls in this section and to design and build a space for reflection within this section. Both of this initiatives were proposed in the 2007 master plan for the cemetery. The Macon-Bibb County Parks and Beautification Department has agreed to donate at least $25,000 of in kind services as part of this grant in order to remove dead trees and invasive vegetation.

The Friends also recently finished applying for the Historic Landscape and Garden grant through the Garden Club of Georgia. If awarded, these funds will allow for the repair and repainting of the North/Scott/Dobbs plot fence, which is readily visible as you enter the cemetery's main gate. The Garden Club of Georgia can award up to $3,000, which will be matched by the Friends to complete this project.

Become our Friend!

Join the Friends of Rose Hill by downloading a form and mailing it to:

Historic Macon Foundation

ATTN: Friends of Rose Hill

PO. Box 13358

Macon, GA 31201