Jul 7, 2006

Toledo Pyramid

Toledo pyramid honoring John Gunckel Photo by historymike

(Toledo, OH) While visiting Toledo's historic Woodlawn Cemetery I came upon a decidedly unusual grave marker, and the only memorial pyramid I have ever seen outside of Egypt.

The monument is a testament to the life of John Gunckel, who was the founder and life president of the Toledo Newsboys Association. The 30'x 26' pyramid weighs over 1,000 tons, and was built with stones collected by Toledo schoolchildren.

The monument's epitaph reads as follows:

The newsboys' friend John Elstner Gunckel, 1846-1915. 'There was a man sent from God whose name was John.' Toledo honors: a citizen without reproach, a friend without pretense, a philanthropist without display, a Christian without hypocrisy.
You can read more about the life of John Gunckel at this biographical sketch at Toledo's Attic. Wikipedia has also an article on identified pyramid mausoleums in North America.


Jeffrey Smith said...

Thanks for posting this. I used to lead cemetery tours back when I was involved in my hometown's historical society and can hardly wait to see this one. Egyptian themes were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

historymike said...

Sure, Jeffrey. It's in the back of the cemetery across the Ottawa River.

LTLOP said...

Mike, I'm surprised you haven't seen this one before. I remember my Mom taking me there to see that one as a kid. Woodlawn has some interesting markers. I found out about some of these when I would assign a local history project to my 8th graders and Woodlawn was one of the subjects. Another intersting one is on the way out just to your left, it has an "easy chair" on top of it. The story goes that the woman died in that chair and wanted it to go with her. Each of the local cemeteries has some stones with stories. For example, Forest cemetery has I believe one of the first Congressional Medal of Honor winners. His is a union civil war vet that took part in the Great Train Chase. About 10 yrs ago a historical society placed a new marker. At Mt. Carmel, on the corner of Lagrange and Manhattan is the crypt of Peter Navarre with a stone tablet indicating this on the north side of the property along Lagrange.

Hooda Thunkit said...

A very interesting story Mike. Especially in light of the (fairly recent) teardown of the Gunckel school (on Nebraska, between Collingwood & Division).

And, "The Old Newsboys" is one of my favorite charities!