A Brief History of Woodlawn Cemetery
*Beginning in the 1830's, American urban planners began to establish rural cemeteries on the outskirts of cities as a way to address the growing issues of overcrowding, public health risks and a lack of leisure space. Historic Woodlawn Cemetery, which was founded in 1876, consisted of 160 acres - one-half mile square - and represented the flourishing of the "rural cemetery movement" in Toledo.
*The designers of Woodlawn Cemetery followed the "landscape lawn plan," which emphasized nature and art. This type of plan included winding paths that later became roads, lakes, gently undulating hills, a variety of trees, and monuments noted for their originality. The beautiful Conservatory Chapel, built in 1883, was the first building on the property.
*By the turn of the century, Woodlawn had become the cemetery of choice for Toledo's civic, professional, and industrial leaders. The elaborate monuments and private family mausoleums erected by these leaders are truly stunning and, as the original designers planned, augment the natural beauty of the space. As the twentieth century unfolded, the historic cemetery was surrounded by the city limits. Toledoans of all walks of life enjoyed its park-like setting and purchased burial lots within its decorative, old boundary fence.