James Garfield

In Dead Presidents, Presidential Gravesites, Travel by Brady Carlson0 Comments

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Buried: Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio
Died: September 19, 1881

See him: If the photo above looks like a basement, that’s because it is – President Garfield is buried in the lowest level of one of the most elaborate presidential tombs ever built. Garfield, of course, was not only assassinated, he was assassinated during the Victorian Era, where things got ornate and, as presidential historian Richard Norton Smith told me, “everyone love[d] a good death watch.” They got one with Garfield, who suffered mightily for weeks in the summer heat before succumbing not to the effects of the bullets, but to the effects of infections that were almost certainly caused by his doctors. So aside from the tomb, there’s a main level with a massive Garfield statue and elaborate artwork, as well as an outdoor balcony featuring views of downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie.

James Garfield tomb in Cleveland

The tomb, by the way, is unique in that it features original artwork that commemorates the shooting that eventually led to Garfield’s death – not every day that you see a painting of an assassin inside the victim’s tomb.

painting of the Garfield assassination

Garfield’s tomb is at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland. The road to the tomb is well marked from the cemetery gates. This is, as of 2013, still an active cemetery – so don’t be surprised to find burial services underway while you’re there, or at least flyers asking you to consider your own burial plans.

See also: The James Garfield Memorial in Washington is just outside the west side of the US Capitol, not far from the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. It’s relatively small and you might have to dart through some traffic to get to it, but it’s very nice.

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