BEAUTY IN THE GROVE: Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum
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By Phil Nuxhall
Photography by Robert Flischel, Charles Gast & Randall Schieber
If you only think of cemeteries as places of sadness and gloom, this book will forever change your views. The second largest cemetery in the United States, Spring Grove Cemetery is the birthplace of the landscaped lawn design for rural cemeteries and origin of the American Cemetery Association. It was established in 1845 by members of the Cincinnati Horticultural Society on private farmland that consisted of many natural springs and beautiful groves of trees-thus the name, "Spring Grove."
If Spring Grove was a party, there would be hundreds of honored guests. Members of the Procter and Gamble families; department store magnates Shillito, Pogue, McAlpin, Alms, and Doepke; sports figures Waite Hoyt and Miller Huggins; African-American notables Theodore M. Berry and Harold McClure; "Ladies in the Grove" Francis Wright, singer Ruby Wright, and Mary Emery; the parents of Presidents William Howard Taft and Ulysses S. Grant, as well as the cousin of President James Buchanan and two young sons of President Rutherford B. Hayes; Wild Bill Hickock's wife; and the founder of the Internal Revenue Service.
Spring Grove boasts some of America's most beautiful works of memorial art in the form of grandiose obelisks, ornate columns, statuary by European artisans, stately mausoleums, and even an Egyptian pyramid and sphinx. There are small marble lambs and huge lion sculptures gracing the resting places of the Cincinnati area's pioneers and notables. An Italian marble mermaid can be found on a local manufacturer's family gravesite.
Beauty in the Grove is a stunning pictorial of a vast collection of history, art, architecture, and landscape that make Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum an international destination. Chapters are devoted to various types of memorial art and the magnificent landscape and horticulture that was world renowned when Prussian-born Adolph Strauch and local civil engineer Joseph Earnshaw designed and laid out the cemetery to resemble a landscaped park. There is much to celebrate in Beauty in the Grove. Take time to view this captivating and inspiring visual tribute to our nation's most beautiful landscaped "Garden of Eden."
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