Dayton National Cemetery was established in 1867 as a place to inter veterans who died while under the care of the Central Branch of the National Asylum for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and Seamen (later re-named the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers). The first interment took place on September 11, 1867 for Cornelius Solly, a Civil War veteran who died while being treated at the asylum. A tunnel leading from the hospital morgue to the cemetery was constructed in the 1870's and used to transport the remains of deceased veterans until the early 20th century. Although the tunnel has been sealed-off, a portion of it can still be seen near the cemetery's maintenance area. The home became part of the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1930 under the Dayton VA Medical Center. The cemetery was administered as part of the medical center until 1973, when it was transferred to the National Cemetery Administration. The cemetery was designated a "National Shrine" in January, 2014, one of only 14 national cemeteries to receive the prestigious distinction. A new 2,000 niche columbarium was dedicated in July, 2014. There are a total of 49,751 persons interred in the cemetery.