Address: Behind Rosse Hall
Architectural Style: Cemetery; Mausoleum
Year Built: c. 1829; 1890
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Kenyon College

Kenyon College Cemetery is one of the most significant sites in Gambier, and is the oldest burial ground in the village.  It has existed since nearly the beginning of Kenyon College's existence.  It is surrounded by an iron fence, and the many trees and stumps indicate it may have been purposefully landscaped.  This cemetery was established in 1829, and contains the remains of many persons closely associated with both Kenyon College and Harcourt Parish, including Reverend Gregory Thurston Bedell, who served Ohio as its third Episcopal Bishop, and his wife, Julia Strong Bedell.  Bedell commissioned the construction of Kokosing House around 1865.  Also interred in the cemetery is Reverend marcus Tullius Cassius Wing, and official of Kenyon College and long-time postmaster of Gambier.  A few Civil War soldiers are also buried here.

A small stone mausoleum stands as one of the most prominent features of this cemetery, and was constructed in 1890 for the Lewis family.  John N. Lewis was born in 1818 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  He graduated from Washington College in Pennsylvania and subsequently served on the faculty of the Madison Female Seminary, also in Pennsyvlania.  As a civil engineer, Lewis surveyed several railroad lines, including the Cleveland, Akron, and Columbus Railroad that ran by Gambier, and is currently utilized as the Kokosing Gap Trail recreational trail.  In 1847, Lewis was employed as a surveyor for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and was later appointed to the Ohio Board of Public Works.  Built completely of stone, the Lewis Mausoleum features a series of Romanesque arches surrounding the entrance, and is the centerpiece of Kenyon College Cemetery.  The door is closed with ornate iron grills and a marble slab.  The roof is made from two solid slabs of cut stone.  A stone nameplate set in the gable is engraved with the name "LEWIS" and the date "1890."  Three trefoil windows are located on the three remaining sides of the mausoleum, and once contained stained glass.

Kenyon College Cemetery contains an unusual monument that was built in 1884 in honor of Joseph Muenscher, D.D., and Episcopal minister.  This monument is made of metal, but has been finished to resemble gray granite.  The monument has three plaques commemorating the deceased, and was likely a standard design ordered from a foundry catalog.  It is an interesting example of Victorian attempts to substitute mass-produced meetal products for materials like stone that usually required carving by hand.

The cemetery contains a large sarcophagus inscribed with the name of Robert Gray, a student at Kenyon who was born in 1811 and perished in 1829 in Gambier.  Burials from the early 1830s are also frequent, and many are marked by headstones with carvings depicting urns, willow leaves, and other funerary symobls of the early-19th century.  Kenyon College Cemetery also contains many burials from the 1840s and 1850s, including Sarah Norton, wife of prominent Gambier merchant Baldwin Norton.

 


 

Gambier District

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