The OES originally visited Green Lawn Cemetery on August 25, 2002. We have since returned on numerous occasions both during the day and at night. Green Lawn Cemetery was established in 1848 in Columbus and is the second largest cemetery in Ohio. With nearly 150,000 burials and 360 acres, the cemetery is the final resting place of many notable people. Some of the most recognizable of these are listed below. The cemetery is also home to over 150 species of trees, including seven state champion trees. Due to the many trees within the cemetery, the entire grounds are considered a bird sanctuary. It is not uncommon to find bird watchers walking the grounds with binoculars and cameras.
The cemetery’s monuments range from run-of-the-mill tombstones to obelisks to magnificent mausoleums. Most are in good condition, but there are some that have been damaged or worn by weather. According to the
History of Franklin County, published in 1858, the first burial at Green Lawn Cemetery was a child, A.F. Perry, who died on July 7, 1849. Doctor Benjamin F. Gard, who died from cholera on July 12, 1849, after responding to a cholera outbreak at the Ohio Penitentiary, was the second burial. The cemetery’s main chapel and mausoleum is the Huntington Chapel. It was designed by famed architect Frank L. Packard and was dedicated in 1902. There are numerous other mausoleums in the cemetery’s property, including the small Gay mausoleum and the grand Hayden Mausoleum, the final resting place of Charles H. Hayden, the son of industrialist Peter Hayden.
During our visits, the cemetery has been relatively well maintained considering its size. This is due in part to the excellent groundskeeping staff and the work of volunteers. Green Lawn began an Adopt-A-Lot program in 2003, allowing volunteers to register to tend a single grave or family plot, particularly those that have been forgotten with time. Members of the Ohio Exploration Society have adopted several lots and actively help care for them. Adopting a lot is free and fun! For more information on volunteering,
click here. Of course, with a cemetery of this size, it is almost expected to be haunted. There are said to be quite a few spirits roaming the grounds, including the Hayden Mausoleum, Huntington Chapel and the location of Doctor Snook’s grave. We have observed a few electromagnetic field spikes during our visits and have recorded electronic voice phenomenon as well. Location Information: Active Cemetery
Green Lawn Cemetery is located at 1000 Greenlawn Avenue in Columbus; Franklin County.
Green Lawn Cemetery’s Notable People
Governor James A. Rhodes Ohio’s 3-term governor between 1963-1971 and again between 1975-1983.
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker Top American World War I flying ace with 26 confirmed victories.
Lucas Sullivant Founder of Franklinton and a great influencer in creating Columbus.
Samuel P. Bush Former president of Buckeye Steel and grandfather of George H.W. Bush.
James Thurber Writer and humorist whose boyhood home in Columbus was haunted.
Governor William Dennison Ohio’s first Civil War governor who served between 1859 and 1861.
Governor James E. Campbell Ohio governor between 1890 and 1892. He lost re-election to William McKinley.
Governor George K. Nash Ohio governor between 1900 and 1904. He died eight months after leaving office.
Governor John W. Bricker Ohio governor during World War II, between 1939 and 1945.
Doctor Lincoln Goodale One of the first physicians of Columbus and philanthropist. He donated Goodale Park.
Ovid Smith A Civil War hero as part of Andrews’ Raiders, earned Medal of Honor.
Orange Johnson Early pioneer of Worthington who carved eyeglass frames, buttons and combs.
Simon Lazarus & Family Founders of the Lazarus Department stores, now a part of Macy’s.
Thomas & Harriet Woodrow The grandparents of the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson.
Wolfe Family Publishers and founders of the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.
John Gordon Battelle Industrialist who willed his money to establish the Battelle Memorial Institute.
Peter Hayden Industrialist who founded Haydenville and ran its iron smelting business.
Alfred Kelley Known as “The man who saved Ohio,” he risked it all to build the canal system.
Pelatiah Webster Huntington Founder of the Huntington National Bank and donated Green Lawn’s organ.
John David Ireland Manhattan Project scientist.
Doctor James Howard Snook More infamous than famous, executed by electric chair after a gruesome murder.
DeWitt Clinton Badger Mayor of Columbus between 1906 and 1908.
Charles Bond Mayor of Columbus between 1908 and 1909.
Peter Sells Co-owner of the Sells Brothers Circus.
Lyne Starling Founder of Starling Medical College, now part of Ohio State University.
Don Casto Father of the shopping center industry.
Photographs: August 2002, July 2003, & August 2003
The main entrance gate located at the end of Greenlawn Avenue.
The Huntington Chapel is the cemetery's main mausoleum.
This small open-air mausoleum was the final resting place of Harvey and Virginia Gay. Gay Street in downtown Columbus is named for this family.
The Hayden Mausoleum was the final resting place of Charles H. Hayden and his family.
Two cannons stood guard over this large veterans' section.
There were many burials in this section reserved for veterans.
There were rows upon rows of identical tombstones in this section.
There are hundreds of people buried here who put their lives n the line so that we may live free.
Behind the cannon that guarded the graves of United States veterans.
The American flag flew high over these men of honor.
The tombstone of Major Joseph M. Clark, who died at Chesapeake Hospital on August 31, 1864.
This Major's tombstone was marked by a flag, sword and eagle.
This patriotic image was on the base of his tombstone.
Green Lawn is an extremely large cemetery. Just imagine this photo times 360!
The Briggs monument was rather unique. It was made of fossilized coral.
The Drury family tombstone. William Drury died in 1898 and his wife Elizabeth died in 1901.
Looking down onto the cemetery from the hill where Lucas Sullivant is buried.
The tombstone of Franklinton and Columbus founder Lucas Sullivant.
The back side of Sullivant's tombstone described his life.
Lucas died on August 8, 1823. He was originally buried in Franklinton Cemetery but was later moved to Green Lawn.
A closer look at the engraving on Sullivant's tombstone.
The Sullivant family plot was on a small hill overlooking Huntington Chapel.
Eliza Sullivant's tombstone. Born March 14, 1817, Eliza passed away on August 23, 1850. She was William Sullivant's wife.
The tombstone of two young children, Henry (1846-1849) and Lucas (1836-1838) Sullivant.
The tombstone of William Sullivant, the first botanist of Columbus and son of Lucas and Sarah Sullivant. William was born in 1803 and died in 1873.
The tombstone of Jane Sullivant, who passed away on January 7, 1825.
The tombstone of Lyne Starling. Lyne died on November 15, 1848.
Lyne Starling was the founder of Starling Medical College, now part of Ohio State University.
This large obelisk marked the final resting place of Benfield family.
Archibald (1788-1831), Rebecca (1791-1832), Amanda (1819-1855), and Sarah (1765-1827) were all listed on the tombstone.
The bridge near the center of Green Lawn Cemetery marks the start of the photos from our July 2003 trip.
This swampy pond was where materials were quarried to make tombstones.
This small shack was located along the west edge of the property.
The shack contained some kind of pump and equipment.
This was one of the three broken angel statues near the rear of the cemetery.
Vandals had broken this angel's wings and feet. leaving the pieces on top of the stone.
The top of this large angel's left wing had been clipped off.
This Goodman family tombstone was knocked over by a fallen tree branch.
The tombstone of Georgie Blount, a child who died at the Deshler Hotel.
Georgie fell from a banister and injured his head on a metal stove.
People leave trinkets for Georgie. His gravesite was adopted by OES members.
This unique stone looked like saloon doors. Perhaps it belonged to a barkeep.
The Civil War memorial in the distance near the cemetery's rear at sunset.
A large tree branch brought down by the storm was across this section of Civil War veterans.
More storm damage could be seen behind the LeCrone family stone.
Look closely at the center of this photo and you'll see a deer.
A storm damaged tree could be seen just beyond the Cook family stone.
This tombstone for Paul and Mary Deonesos included their photographs.
This tombstone for James Carmen, who died in 1963, also contained his photo.
An angel was etched into stone on the Richards family monument.
The large obelisk belonged to the Jaeger family. Individual tombstones surrounded the obelisk.
More downed tree limbs from the storm that passed through the previous day.
This limb damaged this Schimpf stone and a few others nearby.
Walking down one of the roads inside the massive cemetery.
This very large pine tree toppled and damaged several tombstones.
This large tree fell over during the previous day's storm.
Another tree that split and fell onto gravesites.
Half of this tree came crashing to the ground during the storm. It damaged several stones.
A large section of this tree fell across the roadway, making it impassible.
A closer look at the tree from the previous photo.
This tree damaged several tombstones after falling during the storm.
OES members adopted the John Barr family zinc tombstone.
The entrance to Green Lawn Cemetery was lit by a street lamp during a return trip on a warm August night in 2003.
The historical marker for the cemetery was just beyond the main gate.
The roadway was very dark inside the cemetery since there was very little lighting.
The Gay Mausoleum lit up by the flash of our camera.
The silhouette of a tombstone in front of the Huntington Chapel.
Another look at Huntington Chapel at night.
We lit up this unique tombstone with a red flashlight.
With the flash, we could see the tombstone belonged to Samuel Gabriel, who died in 1980.
The Briggs coral monument lit by our flash in the dark night.
The gazing ball tombstone was inside the coral monument.
The Civil War section of Section M had an eerie backlight.
This tombstone was in the shape of a coffin.
The Drury stone lit by our headlamps.
A switch to the red light gave the cross a creepy red glow.
Lucas Sullivant's tombstone with the city lit sky in the background.
Eliza Sullivant's tombstone dimly lit by our headlamps.
Another photo of Eliza Sullivant's tombstone, this time illuminated by the camera's flash.
The tombstone of Isaac Jones, who died in 1882.
The tombstone of Georgie Blount at night.
The red glow gave Georgie's grave a very eerie feeling.
As you can see, someone had left Georgie a stuffed animal.
Even with the camera flash, this obelisk seemed to be dimly lit.
The Hines family tombstone lit up red from our headlamps.
The angel atop the Hines family monument.
Some damaged trees from a storm that came through earlier in the week.
Go to Green Lawn Cemetery Page 2