You owe it to yourself to experience Dayton's majestic Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum.  Contrary to what you might think -- this IS NOT the dead end of town! Bask in the tranquility of 3,000 trees that are particularly brilliant in color during the fall, explore the gorgeous views, enjoy a peaceful hike, and observe the final resting place of numerous famous Daytonians such as the Wright brothers, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and columnist/author Erma Bombeck among others.  

Below are some of the Top Sights You MUST-SEE at Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum!

Woodland Cemetery 1
Photo Credit:  Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum

 1. There are many reasons to visit Dayton's historic and serenely beautiful Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum.  Fall is likely the top season to visit because, with over 3,000 trees throughout a hilly terrain, you are bound to see some of the most beautiful colors of the season. Take a drive or a walk throughout Woodland's 200 acres that make up one of the nation’s oldest “garden” cemeteries.  Marvel at over 100,000 monuments, ranging from rugged boulders to Greek statues and temples, that note the lives of people who helped to shape Dayton and the nation.  Reconnect with nature and enjoy the brilliant visual show put on by the trees, many of which are more than a century old.

Fall Woodland

Photo credit: Woodland Cemetery & Arborteum
2.. The Best View of the City can be seen from Lookout Point at Woodland Cemetery. It is the highest natural point in the city of Dayton proper. In fact, it has been voted the Best View of Dayton since 2015 and Woodland is in the running again for 2021. Go vote at Dayton.com.
City of Dayton by Robert Yontz
Photo Credit: Robert Yontz
 
3. In Woodland Cemetery you can visit the grave of Dayton’s own Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first internationally acclaimed African American poet and writer.  His gravesite is in close proximity to the Wright Family burial site.  On Dunbar's monument, you will find a verse from his poem entitled “Death Song” written in his signature slave dialect.
Woodland Cemetery PL Dunbar Headstone    
Photo Credit: Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
4. Woodland's Romanesque gateway, Chapel and administrative office, completed in 1889, are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Chapel has one of the finest original Tiffany windows in the country.  Ken Botts, a visitor to Woodland, recently snapped this photo of the historic Chapel wrapped in scaffolding during the restoration and preservation project. It is anticipated the beautiful Chapel will be open again for visitors by this time next year – October 2022. All of the stunning 17 Tiffany windows have been restored and promise to brighten the Chapel with their extravagant colors.
historic Chapel     Woodland Cemetery Tiffany Window
                           Photo Credits: Ken Botts; Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
5. The Stanley Family in Dayton were known as Gypsies. They did make their base camp in Dayton but traveled through the South during the winter months. The death of Matilda Stanley is maybe one of the best-known stories of a person interred at Woodland Cemetery. She died in January 1878 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Her body was shipped back to Dayton by train in an ornate casket and placed in Woodland Cemetery’s Receiving Vault. She would lay in the vault for 8 months before she was buried. On September 18, 1878, Matilda Stanley’s funeral was the largest ever held at Woodland. Newspapers reported an attendance of over 25,000 people. They said that over 1,000 horse-and-carriages lined Brown Street, up Woodland Avenue into the Cemetery, and throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. Reportedly, men and boys climbed the trees to see what Gypsy ritual would take place and you know what? There were no Gypsy rituals. Rev. Dr. Daniel Berger of the United Brethren Church gave the funeral ode, blessed the ground and the choir sang three hymns including the “In the Sweet By-and-By” which had been written in 1868.
Stanley Monument
Photo Credit: Robert Yontz
6. Beloved Johnny Morehouse's gravesite is always a favorite of young and old alike.  You will often find child-appropriate tokens left by his tombstone. This little boy drowned in the canal near Third Street and is forever memorialized with this beautiful “Dog and Boy” monument made by local sculptor Daniel LaDow. As you approach the monument you will discover a new walking path that was laid this past summer. This brick pathway was once the brick pathway around the Wright Brothers family lot. When the Wright Brothers lot received an upgrade this year, the bricks were repurposed at the gravesite of Johnny Morehouse.
Johnny Morehouse
Photo Credit: Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum
 
7. Perhaps the most famous people interred at Woodland Cemetery are former Dayton residents Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors of powered, manned flight.  In fact, a number of Wrights are buried in the lovely Wright Family lot.  Woodland is forever grateful to the Dayton Garden Club and the National Aviation Heritage Area for their support in upgrading the Wright Family lot this past year. The old plants and shrubs were pulled and donated to Carillon Park to be used in the Marie Aull Garden. New plantings were installed as was a new brick walkway. 
Wright Lot Section 101     Wright Brothers Collection
Photo Credits:  Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum; Wright State Archives
 
8. The Woodland Pond is a great place to come for reflection, to enjoy a casual lunch, or to clear your mind. Enjoy the colorful reflection of the fall tree leaves in the pond. Or, on a warm summer day look for the variety of turtles numbering up to twenty, sunning themselves on the pond’s island. Blue Herons stop by and of course, there are always geese to be found.
Woodland Cemetery - cross and pond in background  Fountain and Pond  Turtles and Geese at Pond
Photo Credits: Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum and Kevin Myers
 
9. The Deeds Mausoleum is a beautiful private family mausoleum. The architectural details are stunning. Col. Edward A. Deeds was involved in many Dayton enterprises including NCR, DELCO, and The Wright Brothers Company. He gifted Deeds Carillon Park to the community and his wife, Edith Walton Deeds was a major philanthropist in the city as well. You can read more about the Deeds by looking them up in Woodland Cemetery's Locate A Loved One tab on their website woodlandcemetery.org. You can also download the mobile app and take one of 13 self-guided tours that feature the Deeds and many more prominent Dayton citizens.
Deeds Mausoleum
Photo Credit: Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum

Explore the stunning fall views Woodland Cemetery has to offer this season! Learn more at woodlandcemetery.org, call at 937.228.3221, or visit at 118 Woodland Ave, Dayton, OH 45409.