Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cleveland's Beautiful Lakeview Cemetery

I’m not one to visit cemeteries – I’d rather be with the living – but Lakeview Cemetery, located in the east side of Cleveland on Euclid Avenue, is a place not to be missed. Some of its most notable – albeit dead - residents are:

James A. Garfield – 20th President of the United States. President Garfield was born in Orange Township (now Moreland Hills) , and lived in Mentor, Ohio (his home was named “Lawnfield” and is now a National Historic Site).

John D. Rockefeller – Founded the Standard Oil Company, and was the world’s richest man at the time and the first US billionaire. While he was born in New York, his family moved to the Cleveland area when he was young. After the civil war, he founded Standard Oil of Ohio, and that company became the foundation for the Standard Oil Company, a huge national monopoly for oil.

Eliot Ness - Immortalized by the “The Untouchables” (TV series and movie), Elliot Ness came to Cleveland after his much dramatized work fighting organized crime in Chicago. He served as Cleveland’s Safety Director until 1942.

The Van Sweringen Brothers (Mantis J. and Otis P.) – Developers of the Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland.

This cemetery is much more than just gravesites. Some are impressive monuments, such as the large and towering Garfield Monument (above), and the obelisk of the Rockefeller Monument (at right). Another location not to be missed is the Wade Chapel, built in honor of Jeptha Wade, founder of The Western Union Telegraph Company. The interior was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and contains a Tiffany stained glass window named “The Flight of Souls”. Some of these locations are closed during the winter months, but will re-open in April.

The cemetery is located in the “heights” area of Cleveland, so it offers some great views of the surrounding areas.

In the spring, consider taking the time to see Lakeview Cemetery if you haven’t done so already. But remember, Lakeview may be a very nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to stay there.

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