Video: Woodland Cemetery stands as an historic and somber memorial to some of Dayton’s most famous

Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, one of the nations oldest garden cemeteries, was formed in 1841.

Here are five things you should know about the facility and its history:

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Peace and quiet. The founders of Woodland Cemetery were early adopters of the rural cemetery movement. Early burial grounds in cities and churches served as a reminder of the inevitability of death, but the rural cemetery movement established landscaped gardens and horticultural elements that created a peaceful environment. Early rural cemeteries predated public parks and became a destination place to stroll beautiful grounds and celebrate the life of those who died.

A group of men photographed in Woodland Cemetery in 1890. Family gatherings and picnics were popular in large park-like cemeteries. WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

Thousands of trees. Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum comprises 200 acres and is considered one of the oldest garden cemeteries in the nation with more than 3,000 trees, many at least 100 years old. There are 165 specimens of native Midwestern woody plants. 

» RELATED: Woodland Cemetery commemorates 175 years

Eternal home of founding fathers. The cemetery is the resting place for numerous early Dayton-area luminaries, including Major David Ziegler, a Revolutionary War veteran and the first mayor of Cincinnati and George Newcom, one of Dayton’s early settlers who ran a tavern on Main Street. 

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Lookout Tower at Woodland Cemetery photographed in 1898. WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES

A 15-ton memorial. The stone that marks Erma Bombeck’s gravesite was shipped to Dayton from Arizona on a flatbed truck. Two cranes lifted the rock, which weighs 15 tons, into position. The monument is 6 feet long and over 5 feet high, but a third of the rock is below ground for stabilization. 

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A funeral for a gypsy queen. Matilda Stanley, the Queen of the Gypsies, died in Mississippi in January 1878. Her body was brought back to Dayton, where it lay in a vault until her September burial. During those months, word of the queen’s death spread throughout the world. More than 25,000 people attended her funeral at Woodland Cemetery.

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In love with this Art Deco gravestone ✨

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Pure beauty. #woodlandcemetery #arboretum #history #cemetery #nature

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