Cincinnati – June 2017 – Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

The Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum was designed in the 1840s by Adolph Strauch, a renown lanscape architect who’s view was to have a ‘garden cemetery’ made up of trees, lakes and shrubs.

It is the second largest (in area) cemetery in the United States, with over 700 acres, including 400 that are landscaped. As we toured in our car we passed trams leading tours, as well as numerous walkers. It clearly was different than most cemeteries with the spaciness and landscaping.

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Dayton – April 2017 – National Cemetery

On a hill on the west side of Dayton is one of the National Cemeteries, where nearly 50,000 former soldiers are buried. Not all of the soldiers died during service, however anyone interned there served in the military.

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With it’s commanding view on likely the highest hill around, and topped with a 50′ high column and statue as a monument to soldiers from Dayton.

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Also within the cemetery is a bell tower. The bright blue skies coupled with the exceptionally well kept headstones and column gave this solemn place an impressive look and feel.

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Cleveland – August 2016 – Chalk Art & Lakeview Cemetery

We made a mid August trip up to Cleveland to check out a couple of places in University Circle. The first was at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Chalk Art. As noted in a previous post the museum is an amazing place, with one of the finest collections in America. We bypassed the world class art and headed outside where there were about 100 people coloring on the sidewalks with chalk.

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The setting for this effort were the sidewalks and patios overlooking a pond. In addition to all of the amateur artists, there were a couple of professionals, but in my opinion they weren’t any better than some of the locals.

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Among the works were a tribute to Gene Wilder, who had recently died, a number of animated characters, entire families doing themes, and various colorful artistic patterns.

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We took a walk around Wade Oval for an overview, the view back towards the museum is wonderful. We also found one of the professionals all by himself on the far side of the pond.

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After a quick lunch at the museum cafe we headed up the hill to Lakeview Cemetery. With over 100,000 graves Lakeview is massive, truly an arboretum with headstones. Many famous people are buried here including President Garfield, John D Rockefeller, Mark Hanna and other leaders of Cleveland. Our hunt was to take us past the impressive Garfield Memorial, but more importantly to find two of the more unique people buried here; Elliot Ness and Harvey Pekar. Both had colorful lives, and now are buried very close to each other.

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Great Lake Brewery makes an Elliot Ness Lager, and someone had left a bottle in tribute at the headstone.

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Harvey’s had a number of pens stuck in the ground as a tribute.

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While it might seem strange to visit a cemetery as a tourist, we clearly weren’t alone, and Lakeview encourages visitors. If you find yourself up in the Heights, I highly recommend killing some time there.