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Cedar Lane Cemetery

Lawrence Rd and Central Shop Rd, Milledgeville, Georgia 31062 USA

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“a massive memorial to the neglected insane”

"If you find yourself traveling through Baldwin County in Georgia, you may want to pay a visit to a very unique memorial. Cedar Lane Cemetery is home to rows upon rows of numbered iron markers. What these markers represent are the souls of the insane that died at Central State Hospital, which at one point was the world's largest insane asylum. However, the insane asylum in Milledgeville was sorely lacking in effective burial methods. It's believed that the fields around where the asylum once stood are the site of a secret mass grave, where tens of thousands of souls are interred, without identification by way of grave markers.  The hospital was built in 1842 in response to social reform movements. By 1872 the ratio of patients to physicans was 112-1. During the 40s the hospital had about 10,000 patients, who lived there for about 20 years on average. During this time shock therapy was introduced on a massive scale. As if that wasn't bad enough, in 1951, lobotomies were introduced. 125 patients received lobotomies. By this point local area newspapers began to take note of the deteriorating conditions and frequently ran reports of patient abuse. Despite all this, people continued to send unwanted patients here. By the 60s the hospital housed over 12,000 patients.  Some patients were lucky enough to be discharged from the hospital eventually, following treatment. Unfortunately, many, many others were not as lucky. For these unlucky patients what waited for them after death was burial in an unmarked mass grave. It's believed over 30,000 of these neglected souls are now buried throughout the surrounding grounds.  In the late 1930s, an African-American cemetery was dug up and the bodies were removed, often placed in small boxes, and marked with a lone metal pole. Each new body was identified numerically. There are six cemeteries that went neglected for decades. Many consider this mass burial ground to be the world's largest for the mentally ill.  The historic marker at the cemetery states the following: In 1997 a cemetery restoration began here triggered a movement to memorialize patients buried at state psychiatric hospitals nationwide. After discovering nearby neglected cemeteries interred some 25,000 people, members of the Georgia Consumer Council pledge to restore the burial grounds and build a memorial. A grassroots campaign raised funds to erect the adjacent gate and display 2,000 numbered iron markers displaced from graves over the years. A life-size bronze angel was placed 175 yards south of here to serve as a perpetual guardian." -Roadtrippers In 1997 a cemetery restoration began here triggered a movement to memorialize patients buried at state psychiatric hospitals nationwide. After discovering nearby neglected cemeteries interred some 25,000 people, members of the Georgia Consumer Council pledge to restore the burial grounds and build a memorial. A grassroots campaign raised funds to erect the adjacent gate and display 2,000 numbered iron markers displaced from graves over the years. A life-size bronze angel was placed 175 yards south of here to serve as a perpetual guardian. 

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Reviewed by
robin.giansanti

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
October 02, 2016
Rated 4.0

Very interesting place to visit if you are in the area.

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Cedar Lane Cemetery

Lawrence Rd and Central Shop Rd
Milledgeville, Georgia
31062 USA

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  • Wheelchair Accessible
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