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Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum, Dayton

#2 of 9 in Parks in Dayton
Cemetery · Park
Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum (200 acres), located at 118 Woodland Avenue, Dayton, Ohio, is one of the oldest garden cemeteries in the United States.

Woodland was incorporated in 1842 by John Whitten Van Cleve, the first male child born in Dayton. He was the son of Benjamin Van Cleve and Mary Whitten Van Cleve. The cemetery began with 40 acres (160,000 m2) southeast of Dayton and has been enlarged to its present size of 200 acres (0.81 km2). Over 3,000 trees and 165 specimens of native Midwestern trees and woody plants grace the rolling hills. Many of the trees are more than a century old and 9 have been designated "Ohio Champions." The highest point in Dayton is within the cemetery, and during the Great Dayton Flood of 1913, it became a place of refuge.

The Romanesque gateway, chapel and office, completed in 1889, are on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings were constructed of the stone from the original cemetery wall. The chapel has one of the finest original Tiffany windows in the country. A mausoleum, with a rock and bronze exterior, features twenty-two varieties of imported marble and twelve large stained glass windows inspired by famous literary works. It was added in 1970. The oldest original 105-acre section of the cemetery, known as "Victorian," received a second designation as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

A receiving vault large enough to contain 12 crypts was built in 1847 by Joseph Wuichert, who was said to be Dayton's premier stonemason. Throughout the 19th century it was used for temporary storage when burials were delayed due to bad weather or for other reasons (for example, refer to the article below on Levi and Matilda Stanley). Located near the main entrance to the cemetery and across from the mausoleum, it is constructed of giant limestone slabs and was designed as a replica of the Egyptian-style temple of Thebes and Karnak. It was unused for nearly 100 years but the exterior was restored in 2008 to its original condition.

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239 reviews
  • I had to stop at this cemetery and Check out the graves of The Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles Kettering, The Patterson's, The Ritty's the boy and the dog, and other important...  more »
  • When visiting a new city I always like to drive through the local cemetery. This place was like a museum in it’s self. You could tell there used to me money in Dayton just by driving through this...  more »
  • I used to cringe when I thought of someone hanging in the cemetery, other than to say goodbye to their loved ones. but I found out recently that cemeteries are a great place to sit relax, release, relate and chill, reflect on your life and things to come! Woodland Cemetery helps you do just that it has a great view of the downtown Dayton area, beautiful landscape, beautiful trees, water and of course the obvious, the Tombstones! They're beautiful they were designed in a manner to Captivate and to keep you in tune with this land for years to come! it's incredible here! Visit when you can!
  • Beautiful historic cemetery. The Wright Brothers, Erma Bombeck, and numerous old Dayton families. And there's a great pavilion at the top for a view of the city.

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