Bonaventure Cemetery getting new feature - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bonaventure Cemetery getting new feature

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Bonaventure Cemetery is getting a new feature in the form of a lighthouse columbarium, which will be able to accommodate more than 1,300 deceased loved ones' remains.

The design phase alone will cost around $160,000. Actual construction numbers aren't available yet, but the city said the lighthouse columbarium will end up paying for itself as people will pay to have their loved one's remains housed inside it.

Several hundred thousand people drive through Bonaventure Cemetery every year and space is limited. According to City of Savannah's Jerry Flemming, the columbarium, shaped like a lighthouse, will be in the back of the cemetery on Bonaventure Landing, bordering the Wilmington River.

Viewers worried about damage and graves disturbed, but the city said it won't be a problem. The city will be working with the Bonaventure Historical Society.

The historical connection between the Tybee Lighthouse, built by Colonel Mullrayne, is he is the patriarch of the Bonaventure Estate. It will be a working lighthouse, but its primary function will be to house remains.

"It is not anyone's desire to put something in Bonaventure Cemetery that is not going to enhance the cemetery," said Flemming. "We worked closely with Bonaventure Historical Society as we conceived this idea to put a lighthouse in there. It's really a community mausoleum where the people who use it pay for the construction of it."

There is only one other lighthouse columbarium in the United State, which is in Michigan.

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