LeROY McINTYRE LUDWIG
1840 – 1905
SAMANTHA A. SHERMAN LUDWIG
1853 – 1899
THEODORE L. LUDWIG
1973 — 1899
L. M. LUDWIG
1856 — 1930
NANCY A. LUDWIG
1809 – 1880
J. B. LUDWIG
1811 – 1876
The Ludwig monument in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, Ohio, is a gray granite tribute to the Ludwig family.
On top of the base and plinth, is a super structure supported by four columns holding up a spire with the entire monument soaring 57 feet high, the tallest in the cemetery. Carved into the gable is the family’s initial, an encircled “L”. According to the book, Images of America’s Toledo’s Woodlawn Cemetery by Rebecca Deck Visser and Renee Ciminillo Jayne, Arcadia Publishing 2014, page 117, it was after the death of his beloved wife, Samantha, and their son Theodore in 1899, that “Ludwig commissioned the largest monument in Woodlawn Cemetery. Located just in the entrance, it is made of 13 sections of Vermont Granite. Weighing approximately 185 tons and reaching 57 feet tall, the memorial, designed by Lloyd Brothers, was inspired by the Albert Memorial in London. Railroad track was laid to carry the granite to the site, and a special a derrick was purchased to assemble the monument.”
The opulent Prince Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens commissioned by Queen Victoria after her beloved husband’s death is a massive tribute. The monument took ten years to create and soars 157 feet into the air. While the Ludwig monument does not have the same size and the intricate and elaborate detail of the monument in Kensington, it is easy to see the influence of it in terms of the form and basic design. At the center of the Prince Albert Monument is Prince Albert himself seated on the platform—his figure completely gilded.
A post from Holy Toledo History on December 11, 2018, written by Tedd Long, states Samantha Ludwig died from an extended illness that had left her confined to an easy chair. The Lloyd Bros. original plan for the monument was to have a marble effigy of Samantha in the chair. This would have been in keeping with the Prince Albert Monument. But ultimately the family decided that was too personal and left out the effigy and instead chose to only have Samantha’s favorite armchair depict her.
The main element of the monument therefore became the elaborately tufted chair. In keeping with the Victorians of the day, fringe covers the bottom of the chair. Modesty required that even table and chair legs be covered. One can imagine sitting in the chair reading a newspaper on a lazy Sunday morning or nodding off in the big, overstuffed chair while reading a book. Or even scanning the cemetery from that high perch in what looks more like a tribute to the chair than the family. In fact, the chair featured in the monument was Samantha Ludwig favorite armchair, the one she’d spent so many hours sitting and convalescing. Even though the chair in this case is a particular one, the empty chair however is a symbol found often in cemeteries. The empty chair symbolizes the loss of a loved one.
I love this! Thank you for posting.