Midwest Living Review
Opened in 1869, Lake View Cemetery teems with stories, and more than 400,000 people come here every year to learn them. Want to know about the famous people buried here? Grab a map (or rent CDs for a $5 self-guided audio tour) and set out through the 285-acre park, stopping every few moments at markers and monuments for 22 Cleveland mayors, one U.S. president, John D. Rockfeller, one of Lincoln's Cabinet members and more than 105,000 others. It can seem a little -- well, macabre -- but Lake View really has embraced its role as a tourism destination, with an events calendar that showcases the pretty scenery and engaging history. You can take birding walks, horticulture walks, architectural tours, trolley rides, full moon walks, daffodil walks, azalea walks -- the list goes on. The cemetery also holds annual Mother's Day walks designed to rediscover notable women from Cleveland's past and Father's Day walks that visit the gravesites of famous sports heroes. Regardless of when you go, most visitors end up at the James A. Garfield Monument. The Ohio-born president was assassinated four months after his inauguration in 1881, and Lake View remains committed to sharing his largely unknown story with its visitors. The sandstone monument with the circular tower is decked with panels showing important moments during Garfield's life, and inside, the president and his wife's caskets are encased in concrete and decked with American flags. Lake View's other don't-miss stop is Wade Memorial Chapel, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the few interiors in the world designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. A mosaic on the west wall depicts the Old Testament; the east wall, the New Testament, and the windows reflect the touches of the man whose name is synonymous with art and glass. Admission is free, and you could easily spend a couple of hours strolling the grounds and learning about slices of Cleveland's history.