Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Dayton, Ohio

Established in 1841, Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum in Dayton, Ohio is one of the oldest institutions in the rural cemetery movement. It’s interesting to compare it to Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, or to its similarly named counterpart in Quincy, Illinois.

It is sited on some downright rugged terrain, creating a dramatic setting with deep gorges and sweeping vistas from atop its hills and valleys.

The light filters down through tall trees, creating long shadows.

There is an impressive centrally symmetric mausoleum, with four Ionic order porticos.

Down at the northern end of the cemetery is this building, which is cinder-blocked up and sitting unused. I am wondering if this was the receiving tomb, where bodies were kept in the winter before they could be buried when the ground was ready.

But there seems to be too many windows for that. There was definitely an old entrance here, and it might have simply been a caretaker’s house.

Old cobblestone or brick roads ascend the steep grades up from the building.

Neighborhoods sit right up next to the cemetery across the street.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Angie says:

    I just wanted to clarify some of your comments in your story. Your second photo with the two mausoleums, the one on the right is the cemetery’s receiving vault. It was built in 1847 and is the oldest building on the property. It was built by Jean Jacques Wuichet.
    The symmetric mausoleum you mention is the final resting place of Col. Edward Deeds. Member of the Deeds Barn Gang, who with Charles Kettering, invented the automobile electric starter.
    The building and gates on the north side of the cemetery was the original entrance. The building, known as the pump house, was built in 1896 and pumped water to other parts of the cemetery. It stopped being used in the 1950s when water lines from the city were put throughout the cemetery.
    Our hope is to one day restore this building as a possible indoor/outdoor mausoleum.
    The neighborhood that sits across the street from the pump house is known as South Park.
    Thank you for visiting Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum. You can find more information at our website at woodlandcemetery.org including 13 virtual tours you can take from the comfort of your couch or on your mobile phone from our app if you visit the cemetery.
    Marketing Manager
    Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Thanks, Angie! I enjoyed visiting your beautiful cemetery!

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