Sunday, September 1, 2013

Cincinnati, OH 8/27/13

Our first stop in Cincinnati, OH was Spring Grove Cemetery.  While we realize there are lots of people that regularly visit cemeteries, we are not among them (or at least not yet).  But this place sounded too interesting to pass up.  Spring Grove Cemetery is a wonderful place to go to experience history and see beautiful examples of art and architecture. There is gothic and colonial architecture, massive sculptures, busts, ornate mausoleums, grand obelisks and other memorials all of which are so much more than tombstones. Much of what one sees dates back to the 17th century.  As the second largest cemetery in the country, it is home to over 1200 species of native and exotic plants and trees.  On the grounds are 21 state champion trees (largest in the state) and two national champion trees (largest in the country).  There are also 14 lakes and various foot bridges throughout its 775 acres.  The statuary, mature trees, lakes, mausoleums and chapels are both historic and beautiful.

The Cemetery is also the final resting place for many well-known individuals.  Included are:

25 Cincinnati mayors

Businessmen Charles and Julius Fleischman, James Gamble, Bernard Kroger, and William Procter

Dwight Baldwin, founder of the Baldwin Piano Co.

Rudolph Wurlitzer, musical instrument maker

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nicholas Longworth

Judge Jacob Burnet, author of the first Ohio state constitution

34 Union generals from the Civil War

Jesse and Hannah Grant, parents of Civil War general and later president Ulysses S. Grant.

10 governors from the states of Ohio, Kentucky and Arizona

Three Supreme Court justices, including Salmon P. Chase (his face you will find upon all of your $10,000 bills).

Three postmasters general

Two baseball Hall-of-Famers, former Yankees Waite Hoyt and Miller Huggins

More information on the history of this cemetery can be found at:

Next up was lunch in downtown Cincinnati.  We have found so much history in the downtown areas of the Midwest and downtown Cincinnati did not disappoint in this regard.

Historic buildings are found at every turn. We had lunch at Izzy’s, with a history dating back to 1901. They are known for their corned beef and potato pancakes and having tried both we can see the reasons for their success.
Next we headed across the Roebling Bridge. Some of you may remember seeing this bridge in the movie Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. Rain Man Clip
This bridge was well known long before that, however.  When the Roebling Suspension Bridge opened to traffic on January 1, 1867, its central span of 1057 feet was the longest in the world. But getting to that opening date was no easy feat. There were political and financial obstacles as well as a Civil war.  For those interested, more historical detail can be found at:
Our last Cincinnati excursion day destination was actually in Covington KY (across the Ohio river) - the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is one of only 35 minor basilicas in the United States (all 4 major Basilicas are located in Rome).  The cathedral project began in 1884 with the construction terminated in 1915.  The Cathedral while quite beautiful, remains incomplete and unfinished to this day. The Cathedral is watched over by a total of 26 gargoyles, all of which were carved in Italy.  At 67ft by 24ft, the Cathedral's North transept window is the largest handmade church stained glass window in the world. The Cathedral has over 80 hand-poured stained glass windows from Munich Germany.  The peripheral walls contain the stations of the cross done in Italian mosaic each containing over 70,000 pieces in its 3 ft by 6 ft design. There is so much art within this Cathedral - this blog has hardly scratched the surface. 

Dexter Mausoleum- Spring Grove Cemetery
Spring Grove Cemetery
Spring Grove Cemetery
 Spring Grove Cemetery
 Spring Grove Cemetery
 Spring Grove Cemetery
Spring Grove Cemetery
Cincinnati City Hall
Cincinnati Music Hall
Plum Street Temple
Roebling Suspension Bridge
Roebling Suspension Bridge
Cathedral Basilica
Cathedral Basilica Gargoyles
Cathedral Basilica  Largest Window
Stations of the Cross Mosaic
Cathedral Basilica Interior


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