1922 Cemetery Equipment and Workers
Toledo Memorial Park was founded June 5, 1922, a time when memories of World War I were still very vivid. It was founded along the east boundary of the ten mile creek, a branch of the Ottawa River. This was the approximate burial place of the co-founder of Sylvania, General David White.
On June 26, 1922 when the first spade of earth was turned the cemetery owned just fifty-four acres. By the end of 1923 an additional 201 acres was added and throughout the next few years the trustees prudently annexed additional land. Now in existence for more than ninety-three years, the cemetery encompasses 380 acres including 147 in the state of Michigan. There are more than 86,000 burials in Toledo Memorial Park; it is a full service cemetery with four mausoleums featuring chapels, on-site crematory and various burial options for individual preferences. The cemetery is non-sectarian, non-denominational, nonprofit and solely owned by the property owners. Toledo Memorial Park is maintained with funds from several investment trusts valued at $14,000,000, funded over the years to take proper care of the structures and grounds in perpetuity.
The cemetery was conceived as a special memorial to men and women who served their country in all previous wars. Today, there still exists a Veterans section available to any Veteran who has served in the armed forces. The “Sea of Flags” on Memorial Day is truly a moving experience, honoring the more than 14,000 Veterans laid to rest here. The central feature of the cemetery is the Veterans Memorial Tower; it was erected in 1929 out of limestone bricks and stands eighty-five feet tall. North of the tower there is a 400 foot long formal reflection pool which leads to the art deco style mausoleum named Swan Lake Mausoleum. With semi private rooms and alcoves this structure was expanded twice allowing for 2,000 crypt and niche compartments. The chapel features “Lord Is My Shepherd” and various other stained glass windows throughout the mausoleum.
Over the years, Toledo Memorial Park has kept up with the needs of the community with the addition of new contemporary granite faced mausoleums, lakes, special estate lots, and cremation specific areas. A 600 foot long spring fed lake was developed and named Acacia Lake. This magnificent manmade lake was excavated by the cemetery’s staff in 1965. The office building, erected in 1976 in celebration of our nation’s bicentennial, replaced the old farm house residence, which served as an office and became a Sylvania landmark. Termites had ruined the under-pinning and made it impossible to preserve or restore. Reluctantly, the trustees replaced it with the modern structure which, with its colonial design, still fits the image of early America, the theme of Sylvania.
Many new sections adorn our park including a six and half acre pet cemetery named Reflections Garden, which had its grand opening in the spring of 2014. Beautiful trees and meadows serve as a location and backdrop for your pet’s final resting place.
Visitors come from many miles away to see the majestic lakes, flowering plants, blooming trees of over twenty five varieties and the hundreds of birds, snapping turtles, deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife. More than 5,000 tulips make their spring debut in May, while throughout the summer additional bedding plants paint the landscape with a wide range of color and texture.
Toledo Memorial Park can be summed up in three words “always something new”. The cemetery has stood the test of time and looks on to the future with classic bold ideas.