Niagara Gazette Obituaries
How can I help


Oakwood Cemetery: New Life for an Historic Place

The Friends of Local History will present a lecture by noted historian and member of the Oakwood Cemetery Board of Directors Pete Ames on the plans for the Preservation and Restoration of Oakwood. The lecture, a power point presentation of the Landscape Report of Landscape Architect Dean Gowen, will take place Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 in the auditorium of the Niagara Falls Public Library. The program runs from 6 to 8 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Oakwood Cemetery, founded in 1852, contains 18.5 acres with over 22,000 graves. This year it is celebrating its 160th Anniversary. Historic Oakwood Cemetery and its Mausoleum are facing needs for preservation to maintain this historic treasure of Niagara Falls. The Board of Directors, in 2010, voted unanimously to embark on a restoration project of the cemetery and mausoleum. Local, State and National Historic Register nominations are being sought. This Landscape Report, an important part of the nomination process, will evaluate and make recommendations for the plan for restorations and has produced a conditions report for the mausoleum.

Historic Oakwood Cemetery was built on land donated by Lavinia Porter, daughter of Judge Augustus Porter. The original layout was designed by Civil Engineer T.D. Judah. The cemetery’s landscape, as we know it today, dates from a design drawn in 1882 by noted Niagara Falls Engineer Drake Whitney, nephew to the three Whitney sisters after which the Three Sister Islands are named. A section of Oakwood is also owned by the Town of Niagara, which was the governmental agency before the incorporation of City of Niagara Falls in 1892.

The Mausoleum was built in 1913 and designed by the Buffalo architectural firm of Green and Wicks. Oakwood is the home of many of Niagara Falls’ noted citizens including the Whitneys, Porters, Schoelkopfs, the Oppenheims, Silberbergs, Haeberles, and Holleys, etc. Niagara stunters buried there include Annie Edson Taylor, Carlisle Graham and Maude Willard.

This is the first of a series of lectures on Local History topics that will take place on the 3rd Tuesday of every month until May. The Friends of Local History support ongoing projects on the documentation of the history of the City of Niagara Falls and support the research and collection of the Local History Department of the Niagara Falls Public Library. Local History is located on the 3rd floor of the main branch of the public library at 1425 Main Street. It is open to the public on Mondays 5 to 8 p.m. and Tuesdays 2 to 5 p.m. A copy of the 2012-13 Lecture Schedule is available at both branches of the library or by calling (716) 425-4005


Autumn in Oakwood Photo Contest

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (Oakwood Cemetery) - Autumn in Oakwood Photo Contest! Come to Oakwood Cemetery Association October 1 - 17th, take the best pictures you have ever taken in your life, submit them on our Facebook page at the link above, get the glory you deserve for being an awesome image capture person...

Submitted photos will be voted on by the public on Facebook, and judged by Oakwood Cemetery and James Neiss (Chief Photographer of the Niagara Gazette).  Prizes include passes to area attractions, some gently used camera equipment, and all the fame and majesty one can handle for taking awesome picture of Oakwood! Enter today!




An update to our Titanic Story

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (Oakwood Cemetery) - Michelle Kratts has an update to a story we published in April.  Through the "magic" of the internet, she was able to procure more information Emily Hyde Biondi, a resident of our mausoleum.  Not only is Mrs Hyde the wife of Charles Hyde, who donated his land to the city of Niagara Falls to be used as park.  Hence, Hyde Park.  Mrs Hyde was also married to William Douton, a victim of the Titanic ship wreck.  Click here to see Mrs. Hyde's picture, and read the update.


Attention "Shutterbugs": Basic Photography Workshop to be held

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (Oakwood Cemetery) - The Friends of Oakwood have announced the first in a series of lectures and seminars under the Oakwood University banner.  A Basic Photography Workshop will be held Saturday, September 22 at 10am at the Oakwood House on the cemetery grounds.  Whether you have a camera/phone or a new dslr, you can sharpen up your skills with the basics in photography.  The class will be taught by Friends member Tim Maloney.  Tim and his wife Barbara have volunteered their services for a lot of our events, so if you have seen the Oakwood Cemetery website or FaceBook page, you have seen their work.  Click on our FaceBook Event for more information.

The Friends of Oakwood is a volunteer organization which helps the cemetery with public outreach projects.  Current projects include our Stunters Tours, the Wreaths Across America Ceremony, and some clean up projects on the cemetery grounds.  The Friends are also in the process of starting up Oakwood University. The first class under the Oakwood University banner will be the photography workshop.  Future classes might include Genealogy, memorial stone symbolism, cleaning and care of memorial stones, and the teaching of our tour docents.  If you are interested in joining the Friends of Oakwood email us on our contact page.


Is Oakwood Haunted?

NIAGARA FALLS, NY (Oakwood Cemetery) -  Judy Boratyn came from out of town to visit Oakwood Cemetery.  While here she took pictures of some of the unique stones we have in the cemetery.  When she looked at the pictures, she found things in the photos that she says weren't here when she took them.  You be the judge.  Very interesting.  Click the picture to the left to see the others.

If you have an unexplained photo taken at Oakwood Cemetery post it on our FaceBook page.  The experts at NF Paranormal would be interested in seeing what you have.