2500 W. Court Street
Flint, MI 48503
Bella Morte Rating: 1 Tombstone
While Glenwood is well-maintained and appears to be quite loved by the taphophiles of Flint, Michigan, we found ourselves somewhat underwhelmed by this quaint cemetery. That being said, there are some things to recommend a visit should one happen to be in the vicinity.
Glenwood is divided into two sections that are not properly joined, by which we mean, there is something resembling a connecting road; however, unless you happen to be driving an ATV we highly recommend not trying to negotiate the steep and overgrown path. Simply go back to W. Court Street and travel east or west (depending upon the section you are in) to the neighbouring paved drive.
The older section (west) is also the most interesting as it contains the greatest number of private mausoleums and ornate monuments.
Among our favourites are:
WHITING: James H. Whiting began his career by starting a hardware company, but later, owing to his great business acumen and foresight, he suggested transforming a lumber company into a manufacturer of wagons. As one of the owners of Wagon Works, he enjoyed considerable wealth, yet the money he made would later pale in comparison to the fortunes he accrued when he purchased the Buick Motor Company which he relocated from Detroit to Flint, Michigan. Buick went on to become General Motors.
The Whiting monument is an imposing granite edifice. Twelve massive columns support a rectangular roof which extends to cover the open interior. At the center, two sets of weathered bronze gates may be opened to allow access to the floor of the monument which, with the removal of a protective stone, permits the passage of caskets to the underground crypt below.
MOTT: Charles Stewart Mott was a mechanical engineer who owned the Western-Mott Company which manufactured wheels and axels for the Buick Motor Company. When Buick was purchased by General Motors, Mott took his payment in company stocks, a move which made him an extraordinarily wealthy man. He also served as director and, later, vice president of GM.
He created a philanthropic entity named The Mott Foundation which, even today, grants financing to various programs throughout the world.
Mott rests within the cool stone walls of an elegant private mausoleum at Glenwood. The majestic bronze doors are kept polished and free of patina. Its twelve sunburst windows allow visitors to glance inside the structure which, as so often happens, is quite plain inside. The lot upon which the mausoleum stands is exceptionally landscaped and certainly gives continued honour to this man’s memory.
Also of note are the Shop-Miner and David S. Fox mausoleums, both of which stand out amidst the numerous, more modest, tombstones within the boundaries of Glenwood (west).
By 1901, Flint had run out of property in Glenwood’s 41-acre western section and therefore purchased an additional seven acres just to the east. It was here, in 1914, the city constructed a Neo-Classical public mausoleum. The squat grey building, fashioned from marble and granite, is the showpiece of this much smaller portion of the cemetery. Sadly, its former glory has been lost. Columns which clearly once stood sentinel to windows, now guard only rectangles of stone. Above the door, where once a lovely window must have permitted coloured light from stained glass into the building’s entryway, a piece of metal has been installed to protect the interior from the elements and vandals. The large bronze doors stand chained and padlocked, a sad testament to America’s changing attitude towards death and a solemn reminder that most who die are too-soon forgotten.
Here, it would be most appropriate to offer a verse which used to be printed on the cemetery’s brochures:
Long may this fair enclosure be preserved,
unmarred by mistaken taste – undesecrated
by rude hands. Here the worn and weary
citizens will find a momentary but soothing
retreat from bustle and toil. Here may
Sorrow and pensive Meditation ever find a
home. And hither, let even the idle and the
thoughtless come, to learn the lesson of their
own mortality from the eloquent but
unobtrusive teachings of the tomb.
The remainder of the eastern cemetery is peaceful, but largely unremarkable.
Resting place to a number of Flint’s business and political giants, Glenwood Cemetery enjoys the honour of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places.