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The Atlanta Hungarian Meetup Group Message Board › Budapest, Georgia

Budapest, Georgia

Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 41
In creating this Web site, Anne Lynch asked that we make our postings appropriate for readers of "all ages." While I will be delicate in how I express myself below, I caution that death is a gruesome aspect of life, and in discussing it honestly, all the more so in a historical context, one cannot avoid mentioning unpleasant things without being far less than frank. You have been cautioned - talk to your Mommy before reading further.

The systematic profiling, rather than anonymous counting, of common individuals emerges with the growth of powerful central states, which in the post-Napoleonic world wanted to conscript soldiers (and eventually public school students), as well as identify those obligated to pay personal (rather than property) taxes. But nonetheless, believe it or not, even in recent years, an executive secretary employed at the University of Georgia's Athens campus frankly admitted to me that her institution was unable either to confirm or deny whether a particular person earned an M.A. in education only a mere half-century earlier.

And prior to the modern era, the only permanent evidence of a dead person's existence in the West, aside from a marked grave, might be ecclesiastical records like baptisms, marriages, and burials. While imperfect, the Roman Catholic Church is perhaps the most enduring literate multinational corporation in existence, particularly after its aggressive pursuit of influence about a millennium ago. If it doesn't have a record of who was buried in a graveyard it consecrated, I don't know who would.

Please also remember that even in land-rich America, hardly everyone has owned land or could afford same - even a mean little cemetery plot. For example, consider European immigrants to mid-nineteenth century America, such as the denizens of New York City's Five Points district, described in this passage from the 1928 book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld by Herbert Asbury:

In one basement room about fifteen feet square, not ten years before the Civil War, twenty-six people lived in the most frightful misery and squalor. Once when a murder was committed in this chamber (a little girl was stabbed to death after she had been so foolish as to show a penny she had begged) the body lay in a corner for five days before it was finally buried in a shallow grave dug in the floor by the child's mother.


A Five Points lodging cellar (1872)

Aside: This neighborhood was the subject of the 2002 film, Gangs of New York, whose trailer you can review here. (I might mention that Daniel Day-Lewis, who stars in the movie, also shot a scene of the 1988 film Stars and Bars in Tallapoosa, within hiking distance of Budapest, GA ; it bombed.) While the flow of Hungarians to America did not swell into the "Great Economic Immigration" until over a generation later, New York City, which received so many of them, had by then become perhaps even more squalid in its worst districts.

With this background, it is hardly impossible that totally undocumented burials of the poor, by the poor, of any ethnicity, have taken place in some abandoned cemetery, particularly a rustic one so far out of the view of the public as Budapest Cemetery. A clandestine fresh burial in a well-tended, manicured burial ground is hard to camouflage, even if the grave-digging and burial can transpire unseen, as during the night. But in a secluded burial ground, it is little work to scatter the same sort of debris over a new grave which covers existing ones, promising that its condition will match those of the other graves by the distant time when some visitor finally arrives.

Why would a poor, perhaps illiterate, person secretly bury someone in the manner imagined, with but a plain home-made wooden cross to mark it?

In Mortality, Vol. 5, No. 3 (2000), Julie Rugg of the University of York, UK writes of the burial culture of Anglo-Saxon lands so:

...mass burial has been used as a punishment for poverty. In the UK during the 19th century, paupers dying 'on the parish' were often buried in mass graves in unconsecrated ground, in coffins so badly made that the body could be seen through the cracks. This policy was one of a number of measures designed to deter the poor from seeking assistance (Crowther, 1982). Even where such a punishment is not intended, the poor have often been afforded burial sites in which identity and a permanent resting place are denied. In the USA many towns still have a 'potter’s field,' where burial without ritual was given to those who were destitute or people who were subject to racial exclusion from mainstream provision...

So Karen, don't despair if there are unmarked graves in Budapest Cemetery. In a burial ground so isolated, it is no more unexpected than the documented removal of a handsome headstone over time. I will close by noting that the Wikipedia biography of the author of the cited 1928 book currently alleges the following, which testifies to the many varied uses to which burial grounds have been put:

Asbury achieved first notoriety with a story that H. L. Mencken published in his magazine, The American Mercury in 1926. The story profiled a prostitute from Asbury's hometown of Farmington, Missouri. The prostitute took her Protestant customers to the Catholic cemetery to conduct business, and took her Catholic customers to the Protestant cemetery... [Later,] Herbert continued working as a reporter for various newspapers including the Atlanta Georgian...
Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 43
Thanks for the information Ron! I have a complete list CURRENT burials (no puzzle there!)...

Karen, I have a question about perpetual access to the Budapest Cemetery land. According to the USGS National Map, I measure the location of this cemetery as about 33° 42' 15.846" N, 85° 13' 28.352" W (deselect the "Show" checkbox under the "Topo" cartouche to reveal the scanned topo map.) This appears to lie within Haralson County realty tax parcel 0066 0025, whose Web page is online here. While some of the graveyard may lie within the public right-of-way, does anyone know that all of it does? If not, then the present or future owner may try to deny the public access to the site.

What about Georgia law? Do graveyards always grant the public access via prescriptive easement or some explicit statute? And does this include an access path from the nearest public right-of-way if the cemetery does not touch the latter?
Karen H.
user 42535162
Bremen, GA
Post #: 2
Ron, the land information for Budapest Cemetery has been extensively researched. All the titles we find call out the LL dimensions with the wording "except that portion in the northwest corner where the cemetery lies". Unfortunately, there are no specific dimensions to go along with this description. If you have any ideas on how to confirm this, please let me know! We need all the help we can get... Thanks!
Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 44
Ron, the land information for Budapest Cemetery has been extensively researched... If you have any ideas... Thanks!

Karen, I interpret what you have written to imply that what the online county realty system now designates as parcel 0066 0025 is really TWO parcels under Georgia realty law; the greater portion indeed belongs to Mr. Newman as shown, but another parcel comprising the cemetery does NOT.

What you have NOT said is to whom (or what) the cemetery out-parcel belongs. Do you know? i.e. Does the title research show to whom (or what) it was last conveyed? If it was never separately titled and conveyed, it continues to belong to its original Georgia owner, even if that same owner also conveyed away title to the parcel now owned by Mr. Newman.

Unfortunately, old county realty conveyance records are not online. Neither are old local newspaper articles, which might offer a clue where in the paper-based records to look. Thus, in your position, if you don't know who (or what) owns the cemetery out-parcel, I would ask the Roman Catholic Church if it thinks it does, and what evidence it has of this. (In particular, I'd start with the Atlanta Archdiocese, because it publishes the cemetery burial list on its Web site.) I don't know what church policy is regarding US-based graveyards it has sanctified. Is it possible it would sanctify a pedestrian burial ground to which it lacks legal title?

If the church does not have title, or know who or what does, one could search the county realty conveyance records starting in the year of the first burial, and working backwards, hoping to discover evidence of conveyance. But what if the now-departed Georgia owner who last held title never conveyed it to any successor? Does un-testated land revert to the public (i.e. the State of Georgia) after a statutory minimum interval (e.g. 70 years)? These are questions I lack the legal knowledge to answer.

Should you already have evidence of who or what owns the cemetery out-parcel, the question of its boundary need not be highly problematic. As long as the owner can agree with any others possessing possible adverse title to any part of the cemetery land where that boundary lies, he can ask them nicely to sign a quit claim which is recorded with the county. If this proves necessary, it would be worthwhile to install a physical monument to which it refers. I'd use something more substantial than a two-foot piece of rebar stuck into the ground, e.g. a stout fence post or concrete pier.

Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 45
I note the cancellation of the previously pendant meetup titled Budapest, Georgia Fundraiser, scheduled for Sat, Sep 14 at 126 Hamilton Avenue, Bremen, GA 30110. Its stated goal was as follows: The Budapest Group will host a fundraiser for the Budapest Cemetery. The event will feature Hungarian food and dancing...

I recall that when I discovered this event in early July, a mere three people had by then pledged attendance. Without discussing my opinion of the merits of this meetup or its purpose, I'd like to address the larger question of transportation logistics for meetings held far (e.g. the Budapest cemetery) from where most of the people in our Meetup group dwell.

First, I find it surprising that Meetup does not provide GIS tools to facilitate meetups by generating metrics based on the reported home locations of members. This would encourage members to make more accurate reports of same, out of self-interested convenience.

Anyway, on a lark, I looked into the cost of providing round-trip group transportation by chartered bus between­ the location of the aforementioned now-cancelled meetup in Bremen and the nearest metro Atlanta MARTA station. The latter also includes lots of low-cost parking, so that participants in the scheme could use either mass transit or an automobile to reach the bus departure point.

As a comparative cost reference, I remind you that the IRS states­: For 2012, the standard mileage rate for the cost of operating your car for business use is 55½ cents per mile. As the detailed e-mail exchange appended below reveals, I was able to negotiate a proposed price of about 15 cents per mile per person for transporation via a luxurious tour bus which can be filled up. One might do rather better if it was possible to arrange for use of a humble school bus instead; one doesn't need storage and a lavatory for two 40-mile trips, and these days, embedded electronic gadgets are superfluous.

Not only can group travel reduce the cost of mobilizing to a distant destination, it can also provide an opportunity for socialization en route both ways.



ENCLOSURE: E-mail dialog



From: GOGO Charters <info@gogocharters.com>
To: [me]
Date: Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Thank you for contacting us! Based on the information you provided below, you're looking at $895.

Each bus can fit up to 55 passengers and will have DVD players, flat screen TVs, iPod connection, surround sound, overhead and underneath storage, and lavatories.

If you would like to reserve or have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me anytime.

> Please find below a request of quote.

> Description :
> Day trip to Sewell Mill
>
> Number of Passengers:
> 40
>
> Pick Up Address:
> 70 Hamilton E Holmes Drive Northwest, Atlanta, GA
> Pick Up Date & Time:
> 2013-09-14 11:00am
>
> 1st Drop Off Address:
> 126 Old Hamilton Mills Road, Bremen, GA
> Departure Date & Time:
> 2013-09-14 4:00pm
>
> Final Drop Off Address:
> 70 Hamilton E Holmes Drive Northwest, Atlanta, GA



From: [me]
To: GOGO Charters <info@gogocharters.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Many thanks for your prompt reply... I regret to say your quote is
very far out of our price range. I suspect we will resort to a car
pool caravan instead. However, perhaps you might be able to quote a
far more affordable choice than a luxurious bus. How about a simple,
safe, reliable school bus without any amenities? Also, could we enjoy
an additional price break by bending our schedule a bit?

Thanks for your interest.



From: [me]
To: GOGO Charters <info@gogocharters.com>
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Let's examine one more flexibility factor to try bringing down the
price in the potential bid... The originating point I cited is a metro
Atlanta MARTA station. Would starting from and returning [to]
another station in the system help to reduce the price?

Thanks.



From: GOGO Charters <info@gogocharters.com>
To: [me]
Date: Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 3:38 PM

We can drop the price down to $695 as long as you get done within 5 hours and it is all in Atlanta.
Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 46
Music - traditional and the immigrant experience



The resurrection of the cancelled Budapest, Georgia Fundraiser meetup as the "A Night in Hungary" Fundraiser to Benefit the Historic Budapest Cemetery meetup inspires this post.

For authoritative information about Hungarian music, I'd try contacting AHMG member Emese Vas, a music teacher whose biography appears here: http://prepk-12musicl...­ (She has even written about the Budapest colony, a revised copy of which material appears at: http://magyarnews.org...­ )

The traditional understanding of Hungarian folk music influences, as represented through works like those of Liszt, was revolutionized at the dawn of the 20th century by the studies of Kodály and Bartók. To me, the Magyar folk melodies they "excavated" evoke a very Asian or even Mid-Eastern feeling.

I was introduced to the historically-minded Hungarian musician Marta Sebestyen over a decade ago, when I saw a documentary on LinkTV in which she starred, called Beyond the Forest. (That is the literal meaning of "Transylvania".) If you want a sampling of traditional Hungarian folk music, I think you'll enjoy her album A Zeneakademian ("The Academy of Music"), available at very modest cost via http://www.amazon.com...­ . I especially like Mesosegi Tancrend, where you can clearly discern the tekerő ("hurdy-gurdy" to we Anglophones), a popular folk instrument in Hungary - which a European cousin of mine used to build.

Several years ago, I expressed to Anne Lynch my regrets for not taping either of the two showings of Beyond the Forest I viewed, as I could find no place one could buy (or even lease) a copy. As of May, there is (sort of) good news. There is now a retailer, who posts a short excerpt at http://www.youtube.co...­ (embedded below) and sells a full copy (52 minutes) on a 1990 DVD from Britain for £57.50 plus postage - close to US$100, ouch! The excerpt features Sebestyen singing part of The Outlaw's Song - which could equally well be a theme song for any Hungarian emigrant. For those on a budget, one can now also buy the documentary's sound track alone via a 1994 CD from http://www.amazon.com...­ .


Because the Budapest colony was a manifestation of the "Great Economic Migration" around the dawn of the 20th century, one might also be interested in a Sebestyen album inspired by it, available inexpensively (and even reviewed) here: http://www.amazon.com...­ . All of Sebestyen's albums available via Amazon are listed at http://www.amazon.com...­

A large collection of recorded music from the last days of the Hungarian colony is available online gratis thanks to the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). Six years ago I exploited this wonderful resource when creating the Web page at http://www.rootsweb.a...­ . The Haralson County Historical Society might well still possess the crude Edison cylinder player mockup I built illustrated on the page, and embedded immediately below.

­

By putting the term "Hungary" and "Hungarian" into the UCSB project's search engine, one will find relevant material to the topic at hand. Given the subject of the meetup, unquestionably I would nominate one song, recorded circa 1901, before any conceivable alternative - Temetoben lattalak meg.




Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 55
Published online in mid-2011, here is the first video report on Budapest, Georgia I've ever seen:




A former member
Post #: 1
Hello! My name is Ron Smith. Although not of Hungarian heritage, I am a big fan of the ethnically diverse history of the United States and Europe. I am the co-author of Atlanta Beer, a book about the history of beer and brewing in the Greater Atlanta Area. My co-author and I are currently conducting research for a book about prohibition in Atlanta. In the process of this research, I came across the fascinating history of Budapest, Nitra, and Tokaj.

I joined the group in hopes of talking with people that are familiar with the wine making stories of these colonies. We are particularly interested in any interaction between Atlanta and this area (e.g. evidence of pre-prohibition wine sales to Atlanta). Also, as authors our biggest difficulty in developing a book is securing historic photographs relevant to the geographic area.

We are hoping to connect with people that may have historic photographs. Any information and photos we use will be credited to them in the book.

I know privacy is very important, so I will give you my information (see below) to forward on to anyone you think would be helpful.

Thanks for your time and any help will be much appreciated.

Ron Smith
BookSmithATL@gmail.com
Co-Author of Atlanta Beer: A Heady History
of Brewing in the Hub of the South

www.AtlantaBeerBook.com
Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 60


I bring to the attention of those interested in maintaining and improving the Budapest Cemetery in Haralson County the following splendid news!

Late last year (2013), through AltaMira Press, the American Association for State and Local History published a thoroughly updated and greatly expanded (236 pages) second edition of A Graveyard Preservation Primer by Lynette Strangstad, whose slender first edition (126 pages) first appeared in 1995. The first edition enjoys an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars at its Amazon page, based on 14 lay reviews, while the second edition today so far has only a single Amazon review, with a 5-star rating. Other places rating the first edition are Google Books (4.5/5 stars based on 4 ratings) and Goodreads (4.42/5 stars based on 19 ratings, accompanied by 5 lay reviews).

Given the enormous amount of time and effort it has expended on the Budapest Cemetery (as well as on a county-wide cemetery census circa 2000), surely the Haralson County Historical Society should long to keep a non-circulating copy of the new book at its Buchanan headquarters. The e-book version is under $20, so I bet others involved will also buy their own copy.

Conflict-of-interest disclosure: Author Strangstad and yours truly each spent several years in or very near Sleepy Hollow, New York during different decades of the previous century. This area is where the unfortunate Major Andre was captured by three highwaymen (which sentimentalized legend prefers to remember as militiamen) during the American independence war. Two of the three are honored by place names in West Georgia: Paulding County and Van Wert (an erroneous spelling of Van Wart).





Ron F.
user 8553425
Atlanta, GA
Post #: 65
The original historical marker which highlighted our local Hungarian colony, the details of whose demise (about which I learned mid-2006) I recorded late in the previous decade here­, has finally been replaced - with an (all but?) identical metallic monument, in the traditional design basically devised mid-20th century. Read more in an April 16, 2014 story published online here­.

­

I again remind you of the folly of deploying expensive, easily (and frequently!) stolen/vandalized metal monuments in rarely-observed locations, a topic I have repeatedly raised since originating this discussion thread in 2009, most recently here­, and the ready alternative of exploiting widespread contemporary technology to provide vastly superior functionality and comparable visibility, and at a tiny fraction of the financial cost as well (exploiting cheap physical media like PT-wood, concrete, PVC and glass).

In this­ century, the problem of metal theft has grown rapidly throughout the developed world. As the BBC reported in an April 2011 story here­ -

The problem is simple: international metals prices are being driven up and up by the insatiable demand of China and other booming economies.

­
Observe the TEMPORARY effect of
the Great Recession in the graph above


Among the responses to this problem are some described in a September 2011 BBC story here­ -

Public artworks are increasingly being remade of fibreglass as a result of metal thefts... It's not only artwork that is being changed. Surrey County Council now replaces missing road signs with plastic ones... The metal recycling industry in the UK is a lucrative business worth £5bn annually, but thefts are hitting it hard too. Over 15,000 tonnes of metal is stolen in the UK each year. Over half is taken from scrap dealers themselves...

The November 2012 BBC story here­ adds -

There are about 1,000 metal thefts a week, costing the UK some £220m a year.

The local threat to non-trivial chunks of metal left alone outside is hardly non-existent. This very January, allegedly­, someone was discovered illicitly quarrying the metal of a 9,000 pound naval propeller in our county, by slicing off liter-volume bricks with an electric saw powered through a 200-foot cord attached to the proprietor's own electrical outlet. (A "miner" less indifferent to being interdicted would have cut off much larger pieces for potential subdivision elsewhere!) The new historical sign would be far easier to remove, because (as best I know) it is only secured to its post by a small collection of set screws, making power tools unnecessary.

It's a pity this old-fashioned type of sign was deployed, when the alternative I described starting here­ would have left a goodly sum free to underwrite things like the digitization (i.e. electronic searchability) of old paper-based county newspaper archives, which surely hold so very, very much of the theoretically discoverable history of the Hungarian colony yet unknown to the living.

As the video below demonstrates, pointing today's smart cellphone at a lousy snack container can readily tell you at once about the nutritional value of its contents. When will it be possible to point it at any Georgia historical site and get an in-depth multimedia presentation of the rich story making it worthy of attention?




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