History of The Ladies Cemetery Association (LCA) & Oakwood Chapel
The Ladies Cemetery Association was formed on May 4, 1888 by a group of prominent Cuyahoga Falls women. They met in the Vestry of St. John’s Church and were determined to organize in the interest of a finer cemetery in the Village of Cuyahoga Falls.
Preliminary work began at Oakwood Cemetery, with grading, stump removal, planting of shrubbery, trees and flowers. Membership dues, along with annual fund-raising dinners paid for these improvements.
In 1898, ground was broken for the Chapel in Oakwood. Memorial, stained-glass windows were donated for the cemetery Chapel by several Falls families and local organizations. The $2,300 to build the Chapel was raised by holding dinners and entertainment events.
In 1901, The Ladies Cemetery Association received incorporation status and in 1902 they purchased the land the Chapel sits on from the Village Trustees for $1. In the ensuing years, various cemetery improvements were accomplished including the erection of the original wrought iron fence in 1905, and brick piers and “OAKWOOD” entrance arch in 1919.
A Veterans’ Memorial Book was dedicated in 1950 and currently contains over 800 names of Cuyahoga Falls veterans who are buried in the cemetery. The Veterans’ Book is available for public viewing on Memorial Day.
Oakwood Chapel received a special designation in 1998 as it turned 100 years old. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the LCA’s founding, the Friends of Oakwood Chapel (FOC) was organized. Preserving the Chapel by raising awareness and funds for a wide range of projects, including the adopt-a-window restoration program, is the major goal of the FOC.
The Ladies Cemetery Association remains a functioning board today with a continued mission to beautify the cemetery and to maintain and preserve our historic Oakwood Chapel. The LCA flower endowment that began in 1906 still exists today. For information on endowing a grave with annual flower planting, call Sandy Downey Krueger at 330-929-3776 or Beth Marshall McNicholas at 330-923-9403.