Green Lawn Abbey

A Brief History

Video was provided by our friends at G&P Productions. Special thanks to Pat Daugherty of Daugherty Construction as well.

Green Lawn Abbey is a grand structure built in 1927 by the Columbus Mausoleum Company. It was the finest and largest in the area with room for 600 interments. The Columbus Mausoleum Company built numerous other mausoleums in the surrounding area but Green Lawn Abbey was its largest and finest creation, undoubtedly their showpiece.

Built to last an eternity with 1½“ thick granite walls, marble interior and an imported tile roof, the Abbey was built to inspire awe. Marble faux-fireplaces, stained glass windows and various religious statues adorn this beautiful final resting place of many notable figures in Ohio and local history.

One of the most famous residents of the Abbey is Howard Thurston, a world-famous, world-class magician born in Columbus in 1869. Thurston made a pact with close friends that he would try to communicate with them from his grave on the one year anniversary of his death. He was interred at the Abbey in 1936. (For the full story see tab for Thurston) Unfortunately this widely known legend has contributed significantly to the notoriety and vandalism of the beautiful Abbey.

Other notable residents include George Karb (former Franklin County police commissioner and five-time mayor of Columbus), Charles Foster Johnson (first real estate tycoon in the area), Isaac Collins (founder of Anchor Hocking), Edward and Rollin Swisher (from the company that manufactures Swisher Sweets Cigars), and H. R. Penney (brother of J.C. Penney of department store fame). A special family crypt room holds members of the Lewis Sells family (the Sells family owned the 2nd largest traveling circus in America at the turn of the century). Much research has to be done to reveal who else might “reside” in the Abbey.