History & Tourism

Landmarks Of Richland: Greenlawn Cemetery Chapel

3 May , 2020  

By: 1812Blockhouse Staff

This weekend, May 2-3, was to have been RichHistory Weekend, an annual celebration of the past throughout Richland County.

Even though those events were cancelled by the current public health situation, we took the opportunity on Saturday to travel to Plymouth and to visit a local Landmark of Richland that we have not yet featured on 1812Blockhouse.

In the last half of the 19th century, many American cemeteries were laid out in the style of parks. Ample acreage was obtained, and meandering drives, hills, and landscaping gave visitors a sense of peace and beauty.

That was certainly the case for many north central Ohio cemeteries that date from this period. As opposed to their more urban counterparts, even in cities like Mansfield, cemeteries in smaller communities were spread out and beautifully manicured.

One such cemetery that remains in much its original condition is Greenlawn Cemetery on the south edge of Plymouth. Because of its location, it is just a relatively short distance south from the northern border of RIchland County.

Greenlawn was laid out by a cemetery association of the same name in 1874. A total of 23 acres were originally secured, which was divided into 940 burial lots set in groups along beautiful drives and walks. The land now exceeds 40 acres.

About 1880, an absolute gem of a building was constructed near the entrance to Greenlawn Cemetery. The Chapel served in that very role, providing a space for funerals and memorial services.

The building reflected a popular architectural style of the day, one which lasted only a short while. British architect and writer Charles Eastlake (1836-1906) popularized the form which took the name “Eastlake,” and was used for both buildings and furniture. Eastlake, also known as “Stick” architecture is a variant of the Queen Anne style, with an emphasis on intricate geometric ornamentation featuring spindlework, low relief carvings, and incised lines. Many Eastlake buildings, like the Greenlawn Cemetery Chapel, were painted white, although others show an exuberance of color.

In August of 2015, the Cemetery was the site of a Walk during Plymouth’s Bicentennial Celebration. Costumed reenactors portrayed those buried there; a handful were actually relatives, including the Publisher of 1812Blockhouse.

The Greenlawn Cemetery Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 22, 1996.

Sources: Wikipedia, History of Richland County, 1880; Photos: 1812Blockhouse

 

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