At 285 acres, there is little doubt that the largest and most significant graveyard in the state of Ohio is Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery. Located at 12316 Euclid Avenue on the city’s east side, it was founded in 1869 and contains the remains of more than 101,000 deceased, with an estimated 700 new burials each year. So many Italians stonemasons and gardeners immigrated to Cleveland to work in the new cemetery that the neighborhood they formed, Little Italy, still exists nearby.
As with Ohio’s other large city cemeteries like Woodland, Spring Grove and Greenlawn, Lake View Cemetery is a combined arboretum and wildlife refuge and is considered a model of the Victorian era Rural Cemetery Movement. The cemetery was established and laid out at a time when cemeteries were becoming popular as parks, so it’s filled with landscaped hills and decorative ponds and the like. Though it’s not on the lake shore, it is within sight of the water.
The cemetery brochures describe Lake View as “Cleveland’s Outdoor Museum.” Not surprisingly, its is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, in part because of the original architecture and sculpture that adorn the gravesites. The angel statuary in particular has made Lake View a destination for taphophiles and other admirers of funerary art. It is likely that Lake View’s most admired of graveside sculpture stands atop the grave of food service magnate Francis Haserot and his family, near the Mark Hanna mausoleum at the edge of the cemetery proper. Known as the Angel of Death Victorious, it was designed by sculptor Herman Matzen. Another well-known site in the cemetery is the Wade Chapel, constructed in 1901 in memory of Jeptha Wade, founder of The Western Union Telegraph Company and the cemetery’s first president. The interior was designed by Louis Tiffany and has intricate, religiously-inspired mosaics on the walls. The chapel is still used for small weddings and is located north and down the hill from another admired edifice, the Garfield monument.
The list of notables interred at Lake View is extensive, including such American icons as John D. Rockefeller, Elliot Ness, Marc Hanna, President James A. Garfield and Carl Stokes. Also included are Revolutionary War soldiers, Civil War generals, members of President Lincoln’s cabinet and several Cleveland mayors and Ohio Senators and Governors.
For more information visit Lake View Cemetery.
This excellent video montage visits some of the cemetery’s highlights: