Touching the edge of Indiana 25, I never realized the expansiveness of this cemetery from the road. The tall trees drown out the noise of the passing cars, leaving an eerily peaceful silence. At the front gate, a poetic plaque reads:
A spot where nature stopped and smiled as she wrought and each returning season comes and smiles again. Beautiful, whether covered by the fallen leaves of autumn, the white mantle of winter, or the green verdure of spring.
I was excited to visit the cemetery, because it is the final resting place of many key figures in the history of Greater Lafayette. I saw the names of local streets, historic buildings, and other city spaces on the gravestones. I even found the grave of the woman that supposedly haunts my last house.
A 2014 Journal and Courier article explored the history of Greater Lafayette cemeteries, including Spring Vale.
John Purdue [primary benefactor of Purdue University] helped establish that cemetery, and early Lafayette movers and shakers are buried there, including several U.S. Congressmen.
Arett Campbell Arnett, medical pioneer and founder of the Arnett Clinic, the largest (in 1968) multi-specialty physician practice organization in Indiana, is buried there as is Ray C. “Deac” Ewry, a Lafayette native and Purdue University graduate who had polio as a kid but went on to win eight Olympic Gold Medals in high jump, broad jump and triple jump competition in the 1900, 1904 and 1908 Olympics […]
After the Washington Monument was completed in 1884, miniature copies of it started popping up as monuments in graveyards such as Spring Vale […]
Spring Vale, which opened in 1869, still has plots available. Following a current trend, it also boasts a special site for green burials. Among the movers and shakers buried there is Moses Fowler, who came to Lafayette with John Purdue and became a leading businessman, banker and a land baron in Benton County. Special tracks had to be laid in Spring Vale to deliver his monument […] because it was so huge.
When I took the path to the back of the cemetery, I stood in awe of this massive memorial. As you can see below, it towers over the treeline.
I have included some of my favorite photos and memorials from the visit. There are many statues of women, and some with a hand pointing to heaven. There are several plots that have one giant memorial for a family, and smaller memorials surrounding it with the names of individual family members (see an example directly below).
I hope you enjoy the photographs; it is by far my favorite cemetery in Lafayette.