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U.S. President James Garfield died on September 19, 1881. Cleveland was chosen as the President's place of entombment, and after lying state in the rotunda of the Capitol for two days, Garfield's casket was taken to Lake View Cemetery by special train. Countless grieving citizens viewed the casket en route from the Capitol to Cleveland.
The casket was sealed in a temporary crypt while the permanent monument was constructed. Situated on a commanding hill in Lake View Cemetery, the monument was dedicated on Memorial Day, 1890.
The monument features a circular tower 50 feet in diameter and 180 feet high, built of native Ohio sandstone on a broad stone terrace. Around the exterior are five panels in bas-relief depicting Garfield's life and death. These panels include more than 100 figures, all of them life-size.
Learn more about the recent restoration efforts for the Garfield Monument and Memorial here.
Inside the monument is Memorial Hall, a luminous space that features a sculpture of Garfield, red granite columns, a golden mosaic dome, and stained glass windows. In the crypt directly below the Memorial Hall are the bronze caskets of Garfield and his wife, Lucretia Garfield. An inscribed urn holds the ashes of the President's daughter, Mary Garfield Stanley-Brown, and the urn of her husband, Joseph Stanley Brown. A stairway leads to a balcony with a view of Lake Erie, the Cleveland skyline and 40 miles of the shoreline.
The James A. Garfield Memorial was placed on the National Register of Historic places on April 11, 1973
Celebrate Lake View Cemetery's beauty and history! Schedule a school tour or a private tour for groups of 12 or more.
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