Oakwood Cemetery in Syracuse, New York

Photo by Michael Kleen

Oakwood Cemetery, at 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, was designed by landscape architect Howard Daniels and opened in 1859. It is a secular Victorian “rural” or “garden” style cemetery where over 60,000 people are interred in 160 acres. This is by far the most interesting cemetery I’ve ever visited in the U.S., with Gothic and Victorian mausoleums and family plots dotting undulating, wooded hills. It’s positively Tim Burtonesque in some areas.

Time Waits for No One

Henry Winfield Chapin (1867-1954) and his wife Marie Arnold Chapin (1873-1956) are interred in the shadow of these beautiful Greek Corinthian columns. Henry was president of the Brown-Lipe Chapin Company, which manufactured automobile parts for Ford Motors and Yellow Cab.

Patterns in the Ivy

Broken headstone for Marion Strong White (1844-1875). Marion was the wife of Horace K. White. She was a wealthy and by all accounts graceful and intelligent socialite, and died of illness at the young age of 30.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Mausoleum for the Lyman Cornelius Smith family. Lyman Smith (1850-1910) was a successful shotgun and typewriter manufacturer.

Requiem

Abandoned gatekeeper’s office and house near the old west entrance to the cemetery. There is very little information online about this building, however, I’ve read it was designed by H. Q. French and Co. and built circa 1927.

Lead Me to Your Door

Mausoleum for the Brown family. Alexander Timothy Brown (1854-1929) was an inventor and president of the H. H. Franklin Automobile Company. He was married to Mary Lillian Seamans Brown (1863-1932). Their youngest son, Charles S. Brown (1885-1953), was also an inventor and dog breeder. Their art deco mausoleum is nothing if not imposing.

Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

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