A self-guided walking or virtual tour based on the book, “The History of Oakwood Cemetery.” by Henry Perry Smith (Pub. 1871) Part One.
This is the first half of the walking tour that follows the narrative “The Tour” from the book “The History of Oakwood Cemetery” through the eyes of the author in 1871. We have included a copy of the book as a PDF file for you to read – it is posted below the tour information.
For those who wish to do the tour without leaving home; we have included some photos of the locations as they look today. So you can compare the views as described and presented as sketches in the book. Click here for a link to all the photographs!
We’ve included an outline of the 17 stops with Find A Grave links to the more interesting families so you can learn about some of the folks buried in Oakwood along the route.
Click on the individual’s name to be linked to their Find A Grave profile.
For those that want to walk the route; It will be a good walk and work out. We’ve designed it so you can bail out anytime to make it a shorter walk and pick up where you left off later.
We have included a copy of the book as a PDF file (posted below). Download or read it on a tablet or phone as you’re walking the tour. Need help finding spotting a grave? Pictures are provided HERE if you get stuck.
We have posted signs along the trail to guide you to each of the stops. The signs will stay up for a week.
Section 14 Plot 68
Section 14 plot 112
Section 15 Lot 106
Section 25 Lot 43
Section 25 Lot 58
7a. Edwin Miles. Interesting carved draped obelisk. Mid 1800s draped cloth was symbol of mourning, the body has departed the death shroud, the thin veil between Heaven and earth or the partition between life and death.
Section 25 Lot 67
Section 24 Lot 80
Section 24 Lot 69
Luke and Sarah Collins’s daughters Catherine died at age 6 mos and 17 days in 1843 and Kate died at age 3yrs and 17 days in 1834. Both were buried in Rose Hill cemetery on Lodi St near James St. When their mother Sarah died in 1863 she also was buried in Rose Hill cemetery. All 3 were moved to Oakwood Cemetery in 1868 to this family lot.
Section 27 Lot 79
10a. Loomis and Ostrander Family. Very nicely carved obelisk with interesting carved panels and curved trim.
Section 28 Lot 54
Section 24 Lot 32
11a. VanDenburg Family. An interesting grave stone with nice raised lettering. The top piece has broken off and is resting on the ground. The top is an interesting design. Is it modeled after a lantern or lamp?
Section 24 Plot 45
11b. Zephany Merriman. This stone has unusual carvings around the upper middle area. They are very faint but look like a compass rose. Take a close look at this stone.
Section 24 Plot 53
11c. Waggoner Family Stone. A beautifully simple obelisk in scotch granite.
Section 23 Plot 43
Also other interesting stones in the same area of section 22; William Sharpe, Ostrom, Sweet, Truair, Spaulding.
William Malcolm. Very interesting shaped and carved stone. Great carved peaked side panels. The upper shaft has nicely carved drapery hung over knobs and other unusual details. It also looks like the top is missing.
Section 22 Plot 165
Next to it on the right is the George B Parker family plot. As the book states so we are at the correct location. Take a close look at the Parker main stone and the individual stones.
Section 28 Plot 11 and Plot 14
This is a very interesting monument that deserves a few minutes to study its details.
His son also named Jacob Amos continued in the milling business and very successful in expanding the business into Baldwinsville NY. Jacob the son was mayor of Syracuse for 2 terms in 1894 and the city prospered with road building and many large municipal projects. He’s buried in Riverview Cemetery in Baldwinsville NY
Section 37 Plot 1
There are a few other monuments worth noting as the text says as you walk down Highland Avenue; Amos Jackson and Horace P Eno.
Also the Windholz stone has a very interesting top, which the Higgins family copied a few rows directly behind Windholz!
2 more interesting sites on Highland Avenue. One of the last original section signs marking “Section 28”. Second the Hier Family plot at the end of the row. It’s a very large carved stone with wonderful designs in a running pattern on all 4 sides. George Hier was mayor of Syracuse in 1875.
At this point backtrack Highland Avenue back towards the Amos Family plot and continue up Oakland as the book describes heading towards Lake View Circle and Section 45.
Section 45 Lot 1 and Lot 51
From this location you are on one of the highest elevations in the cemetery with many views down into the interior valleys and lower hills of Oakwood Cemetery. This is about half way through the original tour in the book. We will be working on doing the second part in the near future.
It’s an easy return downhill and about a 15 min walk back to the chapel. From Lake View Circle make your way back to Oakland Avenue. Head down and turn left on to Central. Follow past George Barnes and Everson markers past the Belden Stairs. At the bottom of the hill turn right on to Midland Avenue and it’s a very short walk to the Chapel from where you started.
HOCPA is honoring Civil War veterans by making sure they have a marker.
The 1879 mortuary chapel has been an icon in Oakwood Cemetery for well over 100 years.
HOCPA is participating in two projects to reintroduce historic trees to the cemetery.