Forest Hill Cemetery was founded by brothers Waite and Harry McClain of Canton, Ohio.
In 1922, the McClains purchased land on North Canton Road. Plotted out in circular areas surrounded by winding roads, the property featured two small lakes joined by an arched bridge, flower beds, and trees. In wintertime, children from the community could be seen spending their weekends skating on the frozen lakes.
The hill rising in the back of the land and overlooking the entire cemetery was dedicated to military burials. A memorial tower was erected on the crest of the hill, complete with sound equipment so that music played on a nearby pipe organ could be heard throughout the area. Organists from local churches played for funeral services and Sunday afternoon concerts. In the back of the cemetery was a greenhouse and tree farm that supplied the flowers and trees for the landscaping.
In the 1930s, a mausoleum was built on the north side of the property. The interior of the building was marble, and light shone through its stained glass windows. Low benches with velvet cushions, and raised relief artwork adorned the ceiling and walls above the marble. A small chapel was included for prayer and services. In the 1940s, a small brick building was added to serve as the business office.
In the 1980s, the McClain mausoleum and chapel were built near the front entrance. There has been one addition added to the building, leaving plenty of room for more growth. While the lakes have been filled in and the memorial tower no longer plays music, the cemetery has remained for the most part unchanged throughout the years. With more than four miles of winding roads, beautiful trees and stunning monuments spread over 68 acres of rolling hills, Forest Hill Cemetery remains one of Canton’s most beautiful burial parks.