Located at 4521 Spring Grove Avenue this is not only the largest "rural" cemetery in the country (733 acres), it is also a bird sanctuary, arboretum, and park (there are more than 300 varieties of trees with dozens of them being centuries old, 21 of which are the largest of their species in Ohio). There are 44 miles of paved roads, 300 acres of the cemetery are still undeveloped. There are 15 lakes and there are 225,000 people intured there. It was consecrated in 1845 largely due to Dr. Daniel Drake who saw the need for a burial ground outside of the fast growing city after his wife died and was interred at Washington Cemetery. He saw firsthand the deplorable conditions of this and the other 22 cemeteries within the city. The cholera epidemics that plagued Cincinnati at the time were responsible for much of the problem. The cemeteries were terribly overcrowded with bodies being buried without coffins and often stacked together. There was also a serious problem of grave robbers stealing bodies to sell for medical dissection.
   The cemetery opened on September 1, 1845 with the burial of 2-year old Julia Brisbane. Her body was moved to Wisconsin in 1897 thus making Mary Louisa Ernst who was buried 9-18-1845 as the longest-term resident. 
   A 1845 rule stated that "Horses must not be left without the driver". Automobiles were first allowed in 1911. Spring Grove is the oldest operating crematory in the United States.

Spring Grove Cemetery-1858.jpg (731455 bytes)
1858 Painting

   I will try and list just SOME of the incredible number of the rich and famous that are buried in this national historic landmark:

   There is one person who is NOT buried at Spring Grove Cemetery. One of the most asked questions about Spring Grove is where is the body of George Reeves, TV's Superman buried. His maternal grandparents are buried here and when he was shot in 1959 his mother wanted him to be buried on the same plot with her parents. She wanted a mausoleum for him to be built while his body was kept on ice in the White Pine Chapel at Spring Grove (from June 1959 to February 1960.) It turned out that there was not enough room on the plot for a mausoleum and so she eventually ordered his remains to be cremated, placed in an urn and sent to her in Hollywood. The urn was kept on her piano until she died. George finally wound up being buried in Pasadena.


Spring Grove Map.jpg (369434 bytes)


S.G. Original Entrance.jpg (61912 bytes)      Entrance to Spring Grove Cemetery.jpg (221362 bytes)      S.G. Entrance.JPG (524163 bytes)        S.G. Entrance Plaque.JPG (476046 bytes)
Spring Grove Avenue Entrance

   The first image above shows the cemetery's original wooden entrance gate. Starting in 1863 it was decided to replace it with an ornate cast-iron gate mounted on stout, eight-foot-tall piers. The 2nd image shows the entrance around 1885. The fence was also cast-iron with interlaced arches. The last two images are present day views.

Old Administration Building.jpg (296668 bytes)        Once Administration Building 1863.jpg (195517 bytes)        Spring Grove Adm. Offices.jpg (554963 bytes)
 Historic Administration Building

Former Carriage House 1863.jpg (207656 bytes)                Spring Grove Cemetery.jpg (346498 bytes)
Carriage  House                                                              

   The 1st three images above shows the old high-Victorian Gothic structure that was built in 1867 and used as the administration building. It sits to the right of the entrance seen in the photograph below the map. It was constructed at the same time as the Carriage House that sits on the left side of the entrance. The same architect that designed these buildings also designed the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, James Keys Wilson. The office building is still used today for administrative purposes although the interior has been modernized. The Carriage House was originally used as a place where people could rest while waiting for carriages that would take them back to the city. It is used for office space today. The last image is another early view of the entrance.


Spring Grove-1.jpg (99668 bytes)    Spring Grove-2.jpg (112417 bytes)    Spring Grove-3.jpg (133697 bytes)    Spring Grove-4.jpg (146710 bytes)    Spring Grove-5.jpg (93948 bytes)


Observatory-8.jpg (100556 bytes)    Spring Grove-6.jpg (92032 bytes)    Spring Grove Cemetary c.jpg (299862 bytes)    Spring Grove-7.jpg (104359 bytes)    Spring Grove-8.jpg (80873 bytes)
Same Image Different Versions                                                      


Spring Grove.jpg (104615 bytes)


These are not postcards                                                                                         
Norman Chapel 2.jpg (289949 bytes)        Norman Chapel.jpg (186456 bytes)        Norman Chapel Spring Grove.jpg (524027 bytes)                               Spring Grove-11.jpg (89334 bytes)
Norman Chapel

   The 3 photographs above and the postcard on the right show the Norman Chapel that was constructed in 1879-80. The well known architect Samuel Hannaford designed the Romanesque Revival or "Norman" chapel that is located near the Carriage House.


White Pine Chapel 1859.jpg (351391 bytes)        Spring Grove Receiving Tomb.jpg (942037 bytes)
White Pine Chapel

   The White Pine Chapel was constructed in 1859 as a receiving tomb and had replaced an earlier receiving tomb that was on this site. The architect, Alfred Mullett, went on to design the North Wing of the U.S. Treasury Building, the State, War, and Navy Buildings plus custom houses and post offices across the country. This Receiving Tomb was designed for use as temporary storage for up to 200 bodies when burial was not possible for whatever reason, usually the main problem was during the winter when the ground was too frozen for digging graves. The steeple served as a ventilator.


Water Tower.jpg (354070 bytes)
Water Tower

   The Samuel Hannaford designed Reservoir Tower is located to the southeast of the reservoir pond just inside the North Gate Entrance. Built in 1888 this is a working water tower 143 high that draws its water from wells dug into underground springs.


One Of Several Stone Shelters.jpg (329633 bytes)
Rest Shelter

   The photograph above shows one of three rest shelters that were constructed in 1920. They are distinguished by a large wraparound porch.

  The cemetery's first landscape gardener, Adolph Strauch, converted the swampy lowlands at the front of the cemetery into several scenic lakes.

Postcard views of the landscape

Spring Grove-10.jpg (92444 bytes)        Spring Grove-13.jpg (142187 bytes)        Spring Grove-14.jpg (123587 bytes)        Spring Grove-12.jpg (124547 bytes)


Spring Grove-15.jpg (160439 bytes)        Spring Grove-16.jpg (138067 bytes)        Spring Grove-19.jpg (111183 bytes)        Spring Grove-20.jpg (113663 bytes)


Spring Grove-21.jpg (95857 bytes)        Spring Grove-22.jpg (117288 bytes)        Spring Grove-23.jpg (115276 bytes)        Spring Grove-24.jpg (118432 bytes)


Spring Grove-17.jpg (115880 bytes)        Spring Grove-vert-18.jpg (100983 bytes)


   The stone-arched railroad bridge was part of a compromise reached for a railroad right-of-way across the cemetery's southern end proposed by the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton Railroad (C.H.&D) in 1848. The Spring Grove Board agreed to the location only after the Railroad agreed to speed limitations and the construction of a bridge across the entrance road and a $4000.00 stock donation to the cemetery.

Railway Arch and Driveway, Spring Grove Cemetery.jpg (52217 bytes)                                                        S.G. Scene 8.jpg (475532 bytes)
  Railway Arch                                                                                               Photograph        






Glendale-Oak Hill Cemetery.jpg (368957 bytes)

   Oak Hill Cemetery was started in 1910 in Glendale at 11200 Princeton Pike. 50 of the 160 acres have been developed including a 9 hole golf course (Tri-County Golf Ranch). In 1989 Spring Grove Cemetery became the Management Service Provider for Oak Hill.



Walnut Hills Ger. Prot. Cemetery.jpg (283973 bytes)    German Prostestant Cemetery-1.jpg (116515 bytes)    German Protestant Cemetery, W.H. Comfort and Rest Station..jpg (73725 bytes)Chapel in the German Protestant Cemetery, Walnut Hills.jpg (63860 bytes)*  German Protestant Cemetery-Walnut Hills.jpg (55091 bytes)*
German Protestant  Cemetery /Walnut Hills Cemetery

   The German Protestant Cemetery on Victory Parkway kept its name despite the anti-German feelings rampant during WWI, but in September 1941 the name was changed to The Walnut Hills Cemetery. The stone chapel seen in the 4th card dates from the 1880s. 


Mt Washington Cemetery.jpg (114801 bytes)                St Joseph cemetery.jpg (103723 bytes)                Bevis Cedar Grove Cemetery.jpg (237888 bytes)
  Mt. Washington                                St. Joseph                                  Cedar Grove      
                                                     Price Hill                                         Bevis

   The Mount Washington Cemetery was established in 1855 by Lodge #24 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows on Sutton Avenue.


 Glendale Cemetery.jpg (58011 bytes)*      Entrance of The Glendale Cemetery- Glendale O..jpg (58944 bytes)        Milford Cemetery-s1.jpg (147601 bytes)
                    Glendale Cemetery                                             Milford Cemetery


Glen Haven Cemetery.jpg (146902 bytes)                            First Settlers-Linwood.jpg (138144 bytes)        Baptist Cemetery.jpg (113034 bytes)
Glen Haven                                                                   Linwood Baptist Cemetery        
Harrison, Ohio                                                         Monument to 1st Cincinnati settlers  


Wesleyan Cemetery-Northside.jpg (40464 bytes)  *  Wesleyan Cemetery, North Side.jpg (109695 bytes)
 Wesleyan Cemetery    Northside

   The oldest continuously operated cemetery in Hamilton County is the 25 acre Wesleyan Cemetery in Cumminsville, having been chartered in 1843


Vine Street Hill Cemetery 1.jpg (238474 bytes)        Vine Street Hill Cemetery 2.jpg (356162 bytes)
Chapel                          Frozen Fountain

   The Vine Street Hill Cemetery is located at 3701 Vine Street (just north of the Zoo). The cemetery was started by members of the German Evangelical Reform Churches of St. Peter and St. Paul in 1849. The cemetery was originally known as the German Evangelical Protestant Cemetery on Carthage Road (AKA Carthage Road Cemetery). The name of Carthage for this road started just north of Glenmary Ave. but was changed to Vine Street after the suburb of Clifton was annexed to Cincinnati in 1896. It became known as the Vine Street Hill Cemetery in 1941. The chapel was built in 1850 and rededicated in 1971. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. August "Garry" Herrmann owner of the Reds, Cincinnati politician, and chairman of the National Commission for the National League is one of those buried here.


Miamitown Cemetery.jpg (233966 bytes)
Miami, Ohio Cemetery

   Miami, Ohio is now known as Miamitown, Ohio.


Fairmount Monument Co.jpg (78401 bytes)        Mills Monument Co.jpg (281816 bytes)
Fairmount Monument Co.           Mills Monument Co.    
                                                     707 Whittier St.



Crematory-a.jpg (130045 bytes)        Crematory-b.jpg (115181 bytes)

   The Crematory, located at 525 Martin Luther King Drive, was organized in October of 1884 as the Cincinnati Cremation Company. Three years later, in 1887, the present location high on the hills in Clifton overlooking the Mill Creek valley was first constructed. It is the oldest operating crematory in the United States. The last 3 views below were taken in 1948.

These are not postcards
Crematory.jpg (65538 bytes)                Cincinnati Crematory 2.jpg (751641 bytes)        Cincinnati Crematory 3.jpg (578943 bytes)        Cincinnati Crematory 1.jpg (1281598 bytes)
Early image of crematory                        Entrance                  Road to Crematory                          Crematory             




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