Monday, November 19, 2012

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum

 Gate House at the entrance to Spring Grove.

With the cholera epidemic of the 1830’s and 1840’s the smaller cemeteries around the city became overcrowded and there was a need for a larger cemetery with room for expansion.  In 1844, members of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society formed a cemetery association and went out looking for a location for a cemetery that was close to the city but with enough room for growth.  The plan was to create a cemetery that was a serene and respectful place for burial.  The cemetery was to be modeled after cemeteries like Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.  With the help of attorney Salmon P. Chase who lobbied for the charter and special legislation, Spring Grove Cemetery was formed in 1845 with the first burial that same year.

Johnny Appleseed monument.

Landscape architect Howard Daniels was commissioned for the design of Spring Grove and in 1855 landscape architect Adolph Strauch was hired to renovate the grounds.  It was at Spring Grove where Adolph Strauch developed the “landscape-lawn plan”.  The plan emphasizes the land as a whole instead of individual features giving the area a more park like setting.  A single prominent monument with similar individual stones was encouraged in order to promote a more unified look and ponds were placed around the property to drain what was once marshy land.  The cemetery features many interesting tombstones, statues, memorials, and mausoleums as well as a large collection of obelisks, which mark individual family plots.  The winding roads and stone bridges add to the beauty of the land around it. 

There are many notable figures buried at Spring Grove including Governor’s, Civil War Generals, businessmen, Senators, Congressmen, and athletes.  Some of these are Salmon P. Chase, Nicholas Longworth, Bernard Kroger, Charles Fleischmann, Powel Crosley Jr., James Findlay, William Proctor, James Gamble, Charley Harper, General William Haynes Lytle, George Hunt Pendleton, and Alphonso Taft to name a few.

Willow Water Lake with the McCook memorial in the background (on right).

 In 1987 the name was changed to Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum.  Spring Grove contains a large collection of native and exotic plants as well as many state and national championship trees.

Spring Grove totals 733 acres with 450 acres currently maintained and is a National Historic Landmark.  Tours of the grounds and events are held throughout the year.

4521 Spring Grove Avenue, Spring Grove Village

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