Posted By RichC on February 20, 2010
While traveling to NE Ohio this week, and waiting to meet with my daughter for lunch in Akron Ohio, I drove through the gates of snow crusted Glendale Cemetery founded as Akron Rural Cemetery in 1839. While steering through the snow-covered drives in serene park-like setting, I took the opportunity to capture the snow surrounding a couple of historic building with my Palm Pre.
If you enjoy historic cemeteries, this one offers both an honorable burial place for Civil War veterans and stately mausoleums for turn of the century industrialists and notables from the Akron Ohio area. Two of the many building that caught my attention were the 1876 Civil War Memorial Chapel (above) and the 1883 Bell Tower (left), but there is much more.
150 Glendale Ave.
Added to Register of Historic Places 9-27-1980
By Cindy Orley
Glendale Cemetery is Akron’s oldest cemetery, dating back to 1839. It is entered as a historic landscape by the National Register of Historic Places. The picturesque landscape, monuments and burial sites tell the diverse history of “The Rubber City.”
Historic Glendale Cemetery was charted in 1839. It was registered in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 for the Historic Landscape and bear the tag line of “The Guardian of Akron’s Heritage Since 1839.” Within the cemetery, the story of Akron unfolds. Past citizens of Akron’s are all buried here from the prominent figures to all social, ethnic, and economic groups. Located right outside of Downtown Akron, the cemetery was originally located in a rural setting. However, the city has grown around it. The preservation of the cemetery is a continuing effort.
The Cemetery Grounds:
Glendale’s 150 acres are hilly with mature trees shading the landscapes and curving roads winding throughout. The "great meadow" is a grassy open space that once held Swan Lake. During summer months, people are often found picnicking in this area. There are also many statues scattered throughout, including angels, grieving poses, life-size statues of the deceased, and symbolic forms such as a draped urn and little lamb. There are memorials, headstones and mausoleums from the past and the present. Four thousand sites are still available today, including locations near Simon Perkins, son of Akron’s founder.
Buildings and Structures:
Glendale’s Civil War Memorial Chapel is one of the country’s most prominent Civil War memorials, and was built to honor the Akron natives who served in that war. This 18,000 square foot historic Gothic chapel has exterior walls of broken ashlar stone and a porch supported by six columns of polished granite. The European rolled cathedral glass windows were imported from Scotland. Tours and rental of this recently renovated chapel are available by calling 330-668-2205.The Bell Tower was built in 1883 of rusticated stone and exposed timber and holds a 700 pound bell. A must-see are the numerous mausoleums located throughout the cemetery, and which are designed to look like Egyptian, Greek and Roman temples, or Gothic churches.
Glendale Cemetery Residents:
A tour of the Glendale Cemetery is filled with stories of the notables, veterans, and politicians buried there. Many important residents of Akron are buried here, including the founder of Goodyear Rubber, Frank A. Seiberling, and the inventor of Quaker Rolled Oats. At least one person from the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts are represented and buried at Glendale Cemetery. Politicians buried here include Elsworth Raymond Bathrick, George Washington Crouse, Charles William Fredrick Dick, and William Hanford Upson.
Public Use :
People can be found driving, jogging, painting, bird watching, picnicking, and walking the historic grounds of the cemetery daily. Glendale Cemetery also hosts public events throughout the year. Each summer, the West Hill Neighborhood holds a Jazz festival in the great meadow. On Memorial Day, the local VFW and American Legion host a service with 21-gun salute and raising of the flag at the chapel.
Glendale Cemetery is open daily from 8:30am to 4:30pm, weather permitting. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.