Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood District

It was a warmish, clear day in April, and I was looking for something to do. I had been wanting to explore Oakwood for a while, so I figured I’d take a trip out downtown with my camera.

Oakwood consists of two areas: some neighborhoods with windy streets and old houses, and a cemetery. We’ll explore both today.

Minor photography note, every shot in this post was taken with my 35mm prime lens, which is new to my repertoire and which I’ve really been itching to try out!

Getting right to it; this house is so fancy, it has a name: the Tucker House.

This house has quite a large tower in the front, presumably for the convenience of the local ghosts.

This house has a color scheme that probably looks best in late December.

One of the few things I both learned and retained from my trip to Monticello half a lifetime ago is that Thomas Jefferson was all about the octagon and used it in his own architectural designs wherever possible. I don’t know if this house’s octagonal tower was inspired by Jefferson or some other visionary, but it certainly looks cool!

I did take a lot of pictures of houses, but after a while they get a little boring. Have a stone lion instead.

The houses also did not prove to be much of a challenge for my 35mm lens, so I took some flower photos too.

There is in fact part of a house in this photo.

I also ran across this guy, the Political Protest Mexiraptor. Dinosaurs can’t vote, but he still decided to do his part in US politics.

Don’t move on too quickly from this photo. Take it all in. There’s a lot. When you’re done, go back and admire the stone gargoyle in the background who is having none of it.

I am, and always will be, a sucker for swings hanging from trees.

Probably if you live in one of these houses, strangers walking around taking pictures of your home and your flowers comes with the territory. At least I hope so, because I certainly did.

But you get the point. There are houses.

We now venture into the cemetery to take pictures of things that aren’t houses, at least not in the traditional sense.

Those of you familiar with the Raleigh area might see some names here you recognize from around town. This obelisk commemorates Richard Stanhope Pullen, who donated the land to the city that would become Pullen Park.

I didn’t know until this trip that senator Helms was buried here.

Indeed, the paths through the cemetery lead by many incredible, ornate monuments.

Coming across this sight, I contemplated having my body’s resting place be underneath a monument replete with stony visage gazing out at all who approach. I believe the following adequately sums up my feelings on the matter:

Bury me in a pauper’s tomb
this is all I crave;
no ostentatious monument
will keep me from the grave.

No granite obelisk need I;
no mausoleum of stone;
all I ask is a plot of land
to lay my weary bones.

I need no costly resting place
when to my grave I roam;
’tis enough to know that I was loved
while this earth was my home.

So do not set my legacy
upon this mortal ground
for when I die, I’m confident
my soul is Heaven-bound.

I do appreciate, however, the colorful trees and flowers around the cemetery. If my mortal remains could nourish something like this, I’d be content.

I doubt those buried under the fancy tombs rest any more peacefully than those under this dogwood tree.

And with little effort, nature’s obelisk overtowers man’s.

I hope you enjoyed this tour through the houses of Oakwood’s living and dead.

Next post will be a bit further afield.

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2 thoughts on “Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood District

  1. I enjoyed this, and was surprised to see a more local post, knowing full well you are on the other side of the world.

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