On Tour – Lake View Cemetery

One of my favorite places in Cleveland is Lake View Cemetery. You can find the history of Cleveland and its place in the world here in the 200 acre, beautifully landscaped land.  I take Gage to school in the mornings and the cemetery is only ten minutes away so I spent two mornings this week walking the grounds revisiting old favorites and discovering new stories and beauty.

This will probably be my first of a few posts about Lake View, so I’m going to start with who is buried here that you may know.

President James A Garfield (1831-1881)

His memorial is on the National Registry of Historic Places and is the only Presidential casket on full display.  The 2oth President is buried with his wife, one his daughters and her husband.  You can start in the basement to see the caskets, visit the first floor (none of my pictures did it justice so I didn’t include them), and then head up to the balcony where you get the best view of downtown Cleveland, six miles away.

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)


The first billionaire in the United States and considered the wealthiest American of all-time.  He started his career by founding the Standard Oil Company in Cleveland.  His immediate family is buried here too.

Eliot Ness (1903-1957)


His ashes were scattered in the small pond behind this headstone.  Made most famous after his death by the book and movie chronicling his efforts to bring down Al Capone as one of the Untouchables.

Harvey Pekar (1939-2010)

Next to Eliot Ness is Pekar, known for his autobiographical comic American Splendor (made into a 2003 movie).  I love the Sharpies that people have put in the ground beside his tombstone.

Alan Freed (1921-1965)

Cleveland can thank Alan Freed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as this local DJ coined the phrase in 1951.  I saw this jukebox headstone from Pekar’s grave and walked over to find out who it was.

This is just a small number of the famous people I ran into this week, but there are more.  The first day I walked around in the older section and didn’t see anyone I knew but just enjoyed the grounds.

A great touristy place to visit and, if interested, you can still be buried here.  They give themed tours all the time and they are even having a concert today on the lawn of Garfield’s Memorial!


7 thoughts on “On Tour – Lake View Cemetery

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    I agree with you about cemeteries being historical. Our daughter went to school in Boston. And we used to stay at a hotel called The 90, which was right across the street from a cemetery that housed Samuel Adams, Mother Goose, Benjamin Franklin’s parents, and a bunch more. It is very cool.

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