James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States, was an Ohio native. Born in what is now Moreland Hills, he attended what became Hiram College and lived in Mentor before moving to Washington and the House of Representatives and ultimately the White House. He was assassinated and died just six months after taking office. His castle-like tomb is located in Cleveland's Lake View Cemetery.
Garfield's Life and Death:
James A. Garfield, a Northern Ohio native, was a learned man -- one of five children. He was a Civil War hero and a member of Congress before running for President. He and his wife Lucretia lived at "Lawnfield" in Mentor with their seven children.
President Garfield was shot in 1881 at a train station in Washington. He lingered for two months before dying from his wound. It is widely believed that inept medical care ultimately killed him.
The Garfield Monument is a 180-foot tall, cylindrical building, designed by architect George Keller. It was dedicated in 1890, two years after the President's death. It sits on a hill, overlooking the cemetery. The outside is adorned with five bas-relief panels, depicting scenes from Garfield's life.
The main floor of the interior is decorated with elaborate mosaic tiles, marble columns, and colorful leaded glass windows. The focal point on the main level is a larger-than-life statue of President Garfield.
The Observation Deck:
Several doors lead from the main floor to the large sandstone observation deck above. The view from the deck encompasses the near east side of Cleveland, all the way to Lake Erie. Caution: the steps are in good repair, but are spiraled and narrow.
The lower level contains the flag-draped coffin of President Garfield and that of his wife, Lucretia. Two urns containing the remains of the Garfields' daughter Molly and her husband are adjacent to the coffins.
Visiting the Garfield Monument:
Lake View Cemetary is located adjacent to University Circle between Mayfield Road and Euclid Avenue. There are entrances out of both streets. Signs point the way to the Monument.
The Garfield Monument is open daily between 9am and 4pm from April 1 to November 19. Interpretive guides are available for brief tours and to answer questions. Admission is free.
The expansive front lawn is equipped with picnic tables.
Other Sites at Lakeview Cemetery:
Many of Cleveland's most prominent early and recent citizens are buried at Lake View Cemetery. Among them are Jeptha Wade, one of the founders of the cemetery; John D. Rockefeller; John Hay; Eliot Ness; and former mayors Tom Johnson and Carl Stokes.
The Wade Chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The granite structure features an interior and leaded glass window by Louis C. Tiffany.
The Garfield Monument
Lake View Cemetery
12316 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
(last updated 4-09-08)