Woodland Cemetery Sunset in the Park Tours

June 2, 2021 @ 6:30PM — December 12, 2021 @ 8:30PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Enjoy a guided walking tour in Woodland Cemetery

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Members of First Baptist Church of Dayton at Woodland Cemetery
Did you know that there is a section at Woodland for members of the First Baptist Church of Dayton? This section is the resting place of many of Dayton’s most prominent citizens including generations of the Barney Family, the Thresher Family, the Crawford Family and many more. This tour will take you on a journey of this special section and members of the First Baptist Church of Dayton and will include visiting the gravesites of Rev. Dr. Henry Colby, Thomas B. Fordham and Col. Edward A. Deeds. Rev. Dr. Kent Berghuis, current pastor at First Baptist will be guiding this tour.

Cemetery Symbols and Representations
Have you ever wandered through a cemetery and wondered about the meanings of the designs carved on old gravestones? Thousands of different religious and secular symbols and emblems have adorned tombstones through the ages, indicating attitudes towards death and the hereafter, membership in a fraternal or social organization, or an individual's trade, occupation or even ethnic identity. While many of these tombstone symbols have fairly simple interpretations, it is not always easy to determine their meaning and significance. We were not present when these symbols were carved into the stone and can't claim to know our ancestors' intentions. They may have included a particular symbol for no other reason than because they thought it was pretty.


Woodland’s Indoor Mausoleum
Construction on the Mausoleum began in 1968 and was completed in 1970. Today, more than 5,500 persons rest peacefully in this community building that houses alcoves of unique stained glass windows in woodland themes from literature and poetry, a beautiful Mosaic tiled wall and magnificent European marble. We’ll visit each of the windows and talk about their theme as well as visit Dayton’s notables resting within such as: Charles F. and Virginia W. Kettering, Jeraldyne Blunden, James A. Parsons, Jr. and Clara Weisenborn.

Historic Tour

Founded in 1841, Woodland is one of the oldest rural garden cemeteries in the United States. You’ll visit the final resting place of the Wright Brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Erma Bombeck, James Ritty, the Stanley Family, the Mead Family, George Newcom and many other famous and infamous Daytonians. Tours launch from the Eichelberger Plaza at the main gates on Woodland Avenue at 6:30 p.m.

Arboretum Tour

In 1841, cemetery founder John Van Cleve inventoried 41 different species of trees on the hills and valleys of Woodland. Today, Woodland is a Level II Arboretum and is home to over 165 species of trees. On this tour, you’ll take a walk through the cemetery and arboretum discovering many varieties of Buckeye, Dogwood, Sycamore, Spruce, Beech, Pine, Maple, Magnolia, Ash, Linden, Cedar, Fir, Elm, Oak and Poplar trees. And that’s just a sample of the trees you’ll see. Join us for this walk and let’s talk trees. Tours launch from the Eichelberger Plaza at the main gates on Woodland Avenue at 6:30 p.m.

Dayton’s Walk of Fame Tour at Woodland Cemetery

Dayton’s Walk of Fame was created in 1996 as part of the City of Dayton’s Bicentennial Celebration. Many of those inducted onto the walk are resting peacefully at Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum. Some of the featured inductees include: Rev. DeSoto E. Bass, Dr. August F. Foerste, Jacob O. Joyce, Frederick Rike, Katharine, Orville and Wilbur Wright, E. E. Barney, John H. Patterson, Lewis Gunckel and many, many more. The tour will depart promptly at 6:30 p.m. from the Eichelberger Plaza near the front gates at the main entrance of the cemetery on Woodland Avenue.

Luminaries of Dayton Tour at Woodland Cemetery

In this tour, we visit the grave sites of the people who are resting peacefully in Section 101 of Woodland Cemetery including the Wright Brothers and family, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, Medal of Honor recipient Charles Goodwin Bickham, lawyers Grafton Kennedy and Sylvester Carr, the Mead family, brewery owners George Schantz and Frederick Olt, librarian Electra C. Doren, reverends Edward A. Puff and William J. Shuey, Katharine Kennedy Brown, John Alexander Collins and many more. The tour will depart promptly at 6:30 p.m. from the Eichelberger Plaza near the front gates at the main entrance of the cemetery on Woodland Avenue.


History, Mystery, Mayhem and Murder

Take a tour in the cemetery as dusk falls and it becomes dark.

Who confessed on their deathbed of murdering pretty 18 year old Christine Kett? Did Rose Shafor really dress up as a man to help her lover commit a crime? Who killed Julius Kruse? And was the “Cincinnati Ripper” living in Dayton? These stories and more are told in this walk to the grave sites of a victim or perpetrator of a crime. Please note that the tour relates the actual accounts of murders that took place in Dayton. Graphic details are given and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

This nearly 2 hour tour may be deemed strenuous by some and is not recommended for children or elderly patrons or those who may have trouble walking long distances through hilly and uneven grassy areas.

Meet at the Eichelberger Plaza at the main gates of the cemetery. Parking is available both inside and outside the gates. Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a water bottle if needed. Tours will launch rain or shine, except in the event of thunder or lightning.

Reservations are required to attend.


Special Class : Headstone Cleaning and Restoration

A cemetery workshop brought to you by Misti Spillman of Reviving Cemeteries and Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum.

Woodland is pleased to partner with gravestone restoration expert Misti Spillman as she conducts this workshop for those who are interested in headstone cleaning and restoration.

This one-time workshop in 2021 will be held on Saturday, September 18th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This workshop is for beginners and cost is $30 per person. You will receive hands on, one-on-one and group instruction on headstone preservation techniques including: fixing breaks, resetting, cleaning and how to mix proper mortars for stone repair. You will also receive a Headstone Cleaning Starter Kit that will include all of the tools needed for the day. The entire workshop will be spent in the cemetery. A break for lunch will be provided. Please feel free to bring a lunch or visit any of the restaurants on Brown Street.

Misti Spillman has a background in researching and restoring cemeteries. She worked as an AmeriCorps member at the Ohio History Connection and serves as a reference and liaison to numerous museums and historical societies throughout Ohio. Misti is the owner of Reviving Cemeteries, LLC.