We are living in strange times these days. Viruses are named after birds, pigs and now beer. New words for the dictionary will be added by the end of the year: “self-quarantining” and “social distancing.” Fake news. Real news. Wash your hands. And the hoarding of toilet paper! Bars and restaurants closed. Libraries and casinos closed. Strange times indeed.
There are things to do and places you can go that will allow you to be socially distanced from others yet enjoy the beauty of emerging spring. Visit the cemetery! Yes! We’re serious, visit the cemetery. Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum is an open air museum that will delight you with the the visuals of greening grass and emerging flowers. We’ve seen the crocus bloom and the daffodils should be fluttering forth very soon.
If you’ve never been to Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum you just might be amazed with all of the architectural wonders and beautiful sculptures throughout the grounds. There are over 110,000 people buried at Woodland and nearly 100,000 markers and monuments ranging from rugged boulders, left here from the glaciers, to Greek statues and temples. You’ll see a full sized dog, angels and trumpeters and lambs, crosses and flowers all made of cut stone.
There are unique poems and stories etched into the stones and symbols of death from a long ago era. What’s more is that you can learn about the history of Dayton’s citizens through one of the virtual tours offered by the cemetery’s mobile app. There are three tours you can walk, drive or sit on your couch and attend. A free downloadable app is available from the cemetery’s website at woodlandcemetery.org or click here to go straight to the app site.
The Historic Tour features several of the buildings and notable residents at Woodland. This tour offers an audio feature where you sit back and listen to the narrative. There is also the Dayton’s Walk of Fame Tour and the Celebrated African -Americans at Woodland Cemetery Tour. Give it a try and learn about a few of the men and women who made it Great’n Dayton.
If going to the cemetery, there are over 200 verdant acres of rolling hills and 9 miles of paved roads. Truly a much better workout than you can get at the gym. There are at least nine remaining trees designated as “Ohio Champions.” How fun would it be to find them all. You can stop at the front office and get free brochures of several walking tours or purchase a booklet that features both walking tour and historical bios on each of the people on the tour. Bring a picnic and sit down by the pond. Dogs, bring your humans and get them off the couch. And definitely bring your camera to take in the view and a photo of the beautiful “Gem City.”
Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum sits in the heart of downtown Dayton on over 200 verdant acres of rolling hills with over 3000 tress on the property. This historic cemetery, founded in 1841, welcomes thousands of visitors who tour the grounds each year to visit the grave sites of inventors of powered flight, Wilbur and Orville Wright; poet Paul Laurence Dunbar; Matilda and Levi Stanley, Queen and King of the Gypsies; writer Erma Bombeck; inventor Charles F. Kettering; and entrepreneurs John H. Patterson (NCR); George P. Huffman (Huffy Bicycles); and George Mead (Mead Paper Co.).