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OAKLAND CEMETERY & MEMORIAL PARK
HISTORY OF OAKLAND CEMETERY
Oakland Cemetery and Memorial Park is a municipal cemetery located at 2917 Milan Road. The City purchased the Oakland Cemetery Memorial Park, which originally encompassed some 134 acres, from land owned by the widow Jane S. Williams, heir to the 500 acre Beatty Tract. John Beatty was a pioneer settler of Perkins Township, and a brother of Mrs. Williams. One of the largest blocks of granite in Oakland Cemetery bears the name of John Beatty and many of his heirs. It is located near the Northwest corner of the cemetery.
“Those of our citizens who have not taken a trip to the new cemetery ground on Pipe Creek, will regret when once there, that they have so long remained ignorant of so lovely a place. It is the remark of every one that he is surprised to find so charming a situation for that purpose so near our town. Indeed, nature could have done but little more towards adding beauty or convenience to it, and the taste displayed in laying out the avenues and shrubbery reflects credit to the superintendent, W. H. Clark, Esq., and the committee who have given direction to the matter.
When a few years have elapsed, and the beauties of art now begun, are added to those of nature, this cemetery will become the pride and boast of our citizens, and those who have conclaved and executed the project, will receive the thanks of the living and of generations hereafter. The thought of being buried in so lovely a spot, though it takes away half the fear of death, makes one doubly thankful that he escaped the dreadful scourge of last season, and can hereafter repose in a place unsurpassed for beauty, where ‘twould seem sweet to lie forever.
The entire tract occupies 107 acres, 48 of which are occupied for the cemetery, 24 retained for a poor-house farm, and the remaining 35 will be for sale. The committee will be ready next week to sell family burying lots, and but few who have seen the place, will neglect buying.”
Is it not amazing that these words spoken so long ago ring so true yet today?
The first burial took place on May 1, 1850, and Moors Farwell, Sandusky’s first mayor, was buried here on December 15, 1880. Oakland Cemetery has been the official burial ground for almost all of the pioneer residents and those involved with Sandusky’s history.
Historians at the turn of the century commented on the fact that people came from far and near to appreciate the well-kept grounds, the variety of trees, and to admire the stately blue limestone structures. The residence and the Chapel were constructed in approximately 1885 and the Chapel was renovated and rededicated in 1975.
The colorful foliage evident during the change of seasons and the addition of new strains of trees brought about by the Memorial Tree Fund contributions and the regular tree replacement program, enhance the grounds and give one the feeling of being in a peaceful, serene arboretum. The Veterans Stand, constructed in 1923, is the site each year of a patriotic Memorial Day program, and is just one of the several areas of veteran recognition within the Oakland Cemetery grounds.