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When the founding trustees of the Lake View Cemetery Association stood on 285 acres in the countryside of Cleveland, they knew they had found the tranquil setting for what would become Lake View Cemetery. Their vision was bold: create a peaceful, beautiful final resting place that would also serve as a space for the living to enjoy. In 1869 their vision came to fruition, and still rings true today.
A Meeting of Leaders
In 1869, Cleveland businessmen, Jeptha Wade (pictured) and Henry B. Payne, held a meeting with prominent Cleveland leaders to discuss the need for a new cemetery for the growing city.
The Site Was Selected
In 1869 several parcels of land were identified for the future site of Lake View Cemetery. The rural countryside with rolling hills and rugged terrain offered a commanding view of Lake Erie.
First Burial Took Place
Captain Louis Germain DeForest (1838 – 1870), a Civil War soldier, was the first person to be buried at Lake View Cemetery. At only 31 years of age, Captain DeForest preceded 895 Civil War patriots that would eventually be buried at Lake View.
The Assassination of President Garfield
James A. Garfield, the 20th president of the United States, was shot by an assassin. His bronze casket was interred in a temporary vault at Lake View Cemetery while construction on a permanent monument began.
James A. Garfield Memorial Was Dedicated
Designed by architect George Keller, the James A. Garfield Monument was dedicated and opened to the public on Memorial Day, 1890. The James A. Garfield Memorial was placed on the National Register of Historic places on April 11, 1973.
Wade Memorial Chapel Construction Began
Construction began on Wade Memorial Chapel, dedicated to the memory of Jeptha Wade, founder of The Western Union Telegraph Company and the first president of Lake View Cemetery. Cleveland architectural firm Hubbell & Benes designed the exterior structure, while the interior was designed and constructed by the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany. This is one of the few Tiffany interiors left in the world today. Wade Memorial Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic places on
June 18, 1973.
First Automobile Funeral Procession
The first automobile funeral procession took place at Lake View Cemetery in 1903. Photo: Cleveland State Library Special Collections.
From the beginning, Lake View’s founders used horticulture as an integral part of their cemetery planning process. In doing so, they created a showcase of trees and shrubbery, cultivated for scientific, ornamental, and educational purposes – an arboretum in every aspect of the word.
In 1940, to assist with the war effort, Lake View converted portions of its unused land for the planting of community "victory gardens."
Wade Memorial Chapel Was Registered
Wade Memorial Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 18, 1973.
The Foundation Was Established
The Lake View Cemetery Foundation was founded in 1986 to raise funds for the preservation of Lake View's historical structures, horticulture, and educational programs.
Restoration Initiative Began
A significant effort was launched in 2016 to preserve and repair the James A. Garfield Memorial's structural elements.
Building on a Promise
To ensure the viability of the Cemetery for the future, Lake View Cemetery Foundation launched a campaign to support its most significant undertaking in history: Building on a Promise. The $7M effort will preserve the Garfield Memorial, preserve the Cemetery's trees, modernize its water infrastructure, and enhance its Veterans Section.
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