A visit to the Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland provides the visitor with more than an opportunity to visit a departed loved one. Many people visit not to pay respects to a deceased family member, but to view the cemetery which has become known for its history, architecture and heritage.
One point of interest that is hard to miss is the Garfield Memorial. Built in 1890 to honor our 20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, who was one of four presidents assassinated in office.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 180-foot tall monument is prominently constructed on a hillside in Lake View Cemetery.
The exterior of the building boasts bas-relief scenes depicting important moments in Garfield’s life, leading up to the final scene of the martyred President.
The interior of the memorial contains beautiful murals, stained glass, and statue of Garfield carved from marble from Italy. The chair behind the figure is carved from the same block of marble and is an exact copy of Garfield’s own chair while he served as a legislator.
You’ll find the memorial full of symbolism. The dome is decorated with rare gold and stone mosaics of winged figures representing the North, South, East, and West- all mourning the death of Garfield. The wreaths circling the figures represent each state and territory at the time of the Presidents’s death. Below the dome are scenes of the mourning procession.
The stained glass windows and panels represent the 13 original states and Ohio. Each panel has a figure that represents that state. Ohio bears a log cabin, as Garfield was the last President born in one.
The crypt displays the casket of Garfield and his wife Lucretia who survived him by 37 years. Two inscribed urns nearby hold the remains of their daughter, Mary Garfield Stanley-Brown and her husband, Joseph Stanely-Brown who served as secretary to the President.
A stairway in the entrance hall leads visitors to a balcony of the monument that provides a view of the city of Cleveland and Lake Erie on a clear day.
You can learn more about the cemetery and other Presidential sites in Ohio when you read Eerie Yet Beautiful Reasons to Visit the Lake View Cemetery and Ohio, the Home of President’s.
The Garfield Memorial in Lake View Cemetery is open from April 1st to November 19th from 9 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
A small selection of materials are available for sale and the memorial is manned by a volunteer who is available to answer your questions and give a short overview of the memorial.
Parking is available at the memorial.
Those with limited mobility should know visiting the memorial, does require climbing up and downstairs to enter as well as many stairs inside as well.