North Gate Notables

What do the founder of Macon’s love affair with cherry blossoms, a former Allman Brothers Band road manager, and Georgia’s first lady of flight have in common? They are all interred at historic Riverside Cemetery’s North Gate section, located between I-75 and Ingleside Avenue. The fascinating stories of these three, along with some 10 other notable Maconites, will be shared for the first time ever on a new guided tour of the cemetery’s North Gate section, Feb. 14 and 15 at 4:00 p.m. The Historic Riverside Cemetery Conservancy will present this one-and-a-half-hour walking tour, with parking available at Acme Paint, 1979 Riverside Drive, or at Hutchings Career Center, 2011 Riverside Drive. Cost is $5 per person at the gate. A museum shop will have T-shirts, relevant books, gifts and souvenirs for purchase. All proceeds benefit the 501(c)(3) Conservancy.

A sampling of Notables in North Gate:

  • William A. Fickling, Sr. (1903-1990), local real estate broker, community supporter and father of the Macon, Georgia, Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Twiggs M. Lyndon, Jr. (1942-1979), road manager for the Allman Brothers Band and other R&B and southern rock bands of the 1960s-70s
  • Hazel Jane Raines (1916-1956), Georgia’s First Lady of Flight – the first female commercially licensed pilot in Georgia
  • William Leo Robinson (1895-1980), a World War I veteran and the first African American lot owner at Riverside Cemetery
  • Doctors Andreas and Margaret Anne Gruentzig, cardiologists who developed the first successful balloon angioplasty.
  • Judge William Augustus Bootle (1902-2005), who, during the tumultuous era of the Civil Rights Movement, found an avenue to peacefully and successfully uphold legislation mandating desegregation of local schools

Their stories and more will be shared on this fun, educational experience; another Riverside Cemetery opportunity to learn about interesting people from Macon’s past and the roles they played in making Macon, GA, what it is today.

For more information:

North Gate Notables is a fund raising event of the 501(c)(3) non-profit Historic Riverside Cemetery Conservancy, the mission of which is to preserve, enhance and share the beauty and history of Riverside Cemetery for the benefit of future generations. All revenues will be used to fund the implementation of the cemetery’s Master Plan which will serve as a road map for the active historic cemetery’s long term preservation and contribution to the immediate area, contiguous neighborhoods and the entire community.

Written by Ruth Sykes