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Woodland Cemetery is one of the nation's five oldest rural/garden cemeteries and a unique cultural, botanical and educational resource in the heart of Dayton, Ohio.
Historic Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum was founded in 1841, when John Van Cleve purchased 40 acres of land one mile south of downtown Dayton, Ohio. By 1902, the cemetery was comprised of 105 acres of land (now known as the Historic District, National Register) and included the Richardsonian Romanesque Gateway, Chapel and Office built in 1896 (National Register listed), carriage house (1881), pump house (1899) and soon after, stable (1910) and superintendent's house (1929). The Chapel boasts some of the finest Tiffany stained glass windows in the country, along with a custom tile floor.
Today, Woodland Cemetery consists of 225 acres of land, crisscrossed by steep hills and deep ravines. Over 3,000 trees and 165 specimens of native Midwestern woody plants grace the Arboretum's 200 verdant acres of rolling hills. Many of the trees are more than a century old and 9 have been designated "Ohio Champions" by the Ohio Forestry Association.
The Woodland Mausoleum adds a modern touch to this historic site while featuring 12 beautiful stained glass windows depicting woodland themes from literature and a magnificent rendition of "The Messiah."
Thousands tour the grounds each year to visit the gravesites of Wilbur and Orville Wright, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, Matilda and Levi Stanley, Queen and King of the Gypsies; Governor James Cox, writer Erma Bombeck, Jeraldyne Blunden, founder of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; inventor Charles F. Kettering and entrepreneurs John H. Patterson (NCR), George P. Huffman (Huffy Bicycles), George Mead (Mead Paper), and Preserved Smith (Barney & Smith Mfg. Co.).