Rooms With a View

 Rooms With a View

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum’s mausoleum features beautiful stained-glass windows

Eric Spangler

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum is a beautiful place to enjoy the peace and quiet of the outdoors amongst the headstones of some of Dayton’s most famous people. But when the weather turns cold there’s another place where visitors to Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum can mingle with the remains of some of Dayton’s most famous people.

The cemetery’s mausoleum, completed in 1970, includes the remains of Charles Kettering—one of Dayton’s most famous inventors, engineers and businessman who founded Delco, says Angie Hoschouer, manager of development and marketing for Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum.

Other famous Daytonians interred in the mausoleum include Bob Ross, the first African-American automobile dealer in the state of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia; Jeraldyne Blunden, the founder and artistic director of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company; Albert W. Vontz, the founder of the Heidelberg Distributing Co.; William Sumpter “W. S.” McIntosh, a civil rights leader who led one of the first major civil rights protests in Dayton; and Harold Omer, who along with Lee Cummings started “Harold’s Take-Home” in Lima, Ohio, where Lee first introduced Famous Recipe Chicken, says Hoschouer.

To learn more about some of the famous Daytonians interred in Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum’s mausoleum visitors can either take a self-guided or guided tour, says Hoschouer. Guests should call 228-3221 to make arrangements for a guided tour of the mausoleum, which is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., she says.

In addition to the remains of some of Dayton’s most famous citizens, the mausoleum— with its rock and bronze face architecture—features 22 varieties of imported marble and 12 large stained-glass windows inspired by famous literary works, says Hoschouer.

The stained-glass windows depict woodland themes from literature including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Hiawatha and Evangeline, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Willow Tree, Emerson and Robert Frost’s Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening and the stories Jody and the Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings and William Henry Hudson’s Rima, the Bird Girl from Green Mansions, she says. 

Several windows have religious themes such as “The Messiah,” “St. Hubert and the Stag” and “Nativity and Resurrection,” says Hoschouer. “The Messiah” is the first stained-glass window visitors see as they enter the mausoleum’s chapel. “The Messiah” window illustrates George Frederick Handel’s great oratorio “The Messiah,” and depicts Jesus Christ enthroned on a rainbow, surrounded with angels and the 24 elders, says Hoschouer.

The mausoleum, which includes a cremation chamber, contains more than 4,000 crypt spaces, 2,000 niches for urns, a full chapel for religious services and several “theme” and “family estate” rooms, she says.

Although the main mausoleum building was completed in 1970 the facility has been expanded three times with additions in 1985, 1988 and the mid-1990s, says Hoschouer.

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum is located at 118 Woodland Ave. off Brown Street near the University of Dayton campus.