I had some free time last Wednesday afternoon when I was visiting Cleveland. So I decided to wander in my favorite neighborhood there, Little Italy.
The homes here are a good mix of single family homes, condos and apartments, with lots of little shops and restaurants mixed in. There are many students in the neighborhood as well, thanks to nearby Case Western Reserve University.
Like every good ethnic neighborhood, Little Italy is centered around a church, in this case, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church. I tried to put a photo of the church up, but it kept crashing my computer. But it is beautiful, so check out the web site if you have a minute. The church hosts an annual festival, the Feast of the Assumption, every August, that is really fun and has wonderful food.
Adjacent to Little Italy is Lake View Cemetery. I had never been there, so I made that part of my visit as well.
Many Italian stone cutters and masons immigrated to Cleveland for work at the cemetery, which is why Little Italy ended up right next to it, according to a cemetery fact sheet. “They built their homes on the hill next to the cemetery because it was so close and it reminded them of their native land.”
I have to say, it is pretty amazing. The cemetery is 285 acres (huge!), and is actually in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and East Cleveland. It was founded 140 years ago in 1869. More than 100,000 people are buried here.
I think this one is my favorite. I like to think there are books in the afterlife!
Many famous Clevelanders, industrialists, and other notable people are buried in Lake View, including our 20th President, Ohioan James A. Garfield.
Also buried here is John D. Rockefeller, the world’s first billionaire and founder of Standard Oil in 1870. Most people associate the Rockefeller name with New York, but he made his money in Cleveland!
He and a number of relatives are buried in a really beautiful spot on top of a hill, with spectacular views of Lake Erie and downtown Cleveland. I guess in death, as in real life, the wealthy get the best real estate.
I couldn’t even fit his entire monument in one photo:
This is the Wade Chapel, resting place of Jeptha Wade, who organized and built a number of telegraph lines in the Midwest, which later became Western Union.
I highly recommend checking out Lake View next time you are in Cleveland. There’s a lot of history here, in a really beautiful setting.