Two former Georgia governors are buried underneath the archangel Gabriel. Joseph E. Brown (1821-1894) was the Civil War Governor of Georgia. He served four terms, the only person to do so. Later, he became a U.S. Senator and Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. His son, Joseph M. Brown (1851-1932) served two terms.
Architecture: The 7′ archangel Gabriel tops the monument. He gazes toward heaven indicating a victory over death. Two additional angels serve as messengers from God. They hold down-turned torches indicating a life snuffed out.
Tragedy Strikes: On a Friday night in March, 2008, Oakland Cemetery suffered significant damage as a tornado swept through downtown Atlanta. The column toppled. Gabriel shattered. Many believed the statue was beyond repair. Amazingly, within seven months preservationists worked diligently and restored Gabriel to his perch.