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« Art Deco gems in Michigan City, Indiana | Main | Michigan's Grindstone City as Grindstone Capital of the World »

March 17, 2011


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Roger Barker

Thanks for the great story coming from one of my very favorite destinations in Ohio, Lake View Cemetery. This place is filled with heroes and heroines, artists, musicians, inventors and even a U.S. president! It has some of the most incredible statuary and landscaping of any garden in the world. A definite "must see" for history buffs, art lovers, gardeners... and geocachers!

Dominique King

Thanks for steering me to Lake View Cemetery in the first place, Roger!

Lots of great stories there, and I wish I had time to explore more of them.


When we visit a cemetery, sometimes I will see a headstone that catches my eye and I wonder what the story is. What a story that was! Thanks for sharing it.

Dominique King

Lake View is a particularly interesting cemetery, and it seems like there is a story around every corner there. I've already done a few stories about it, but I saved this one back 'til now.
You couldn't make this stuff up, could you? :lol:

nancy Mihalek

Thank you for the info. Laura Mae Corrigan was a GGAunt of mine. There is a Laura in every generation of our family.

Dominique King

Nancy-Thanks for stopping by! I loved this story and just had to share it. Your GGAunt sounds like a fascinating woman.


This is a very interesting story. As one digs deeper into it there are some very interesting historical nuances. Additionally, like any story of this nature it is also interesting to see all the different interpretations over the years. Thanks for sharing it. A few interesting thoughts. When Laura first moved to England, she wasn't received much differently than she was in NY or Cleveland. She tried to overcome this by throwing grand parties and providing lavish gifts to those that attended. In the beginning this did not provide significant stature in British society given the fact that Edward VIII was not a fan. However, his younger brother and wife were. In an ironic twist, when Edward abdicated the thrown and George VI became King her stature in society changed forever.


Also, the loan that James Sr. Took from John D Rockefeller was against his standard oil stock, not land. James Sr. Had sold his refinery to standard oil and like many took stock as payment. He latter pledged this stock as collateral to finance the iron ore venture. This became a well publicized battle against John at a time when few were willing to apples him. Another note. Mr. McKinney became partners with James following the great recession of 1893. The firm was in trouble and james's other partners stepped aside.  Mr. McKinney became a partner and helped lead the company out of the recession. The name was changed at that time. James Jr. Was only 13 at time. His carefree lifestyle did not have any influence on James Sr.'s decision to partner with Mr. McKinney. Price and James Jr. Actually became partners in horse racing and other endeavors until Laura's influences in the late teens. 

Thanks again for posting this interesting story.

Dominique King

Ridgemere-It's fascinating to me to see how Laura's story seems to resonate with people to this day. Thanks for adding to my understanding of her life!


The figure that she was seems to always fascinate people. If she lived today, she would probably have a show on Bravo. I am a direct descendant of Mr. McKinney, so I view her life maybe differently than most. No matter what the angle she was definately an interesting figure that benefited from some ironic events and timing in life. I've studied this story in great detail and continue to be intrigued by it. Lake View is an amazing place.

Dominique King

Ridgemere-I suspect you're right about Laura's story being particularly TV-ready. She certainly seemed to be a contradictory figure, which is part of what makes her story so interesting.
I loved visiting Lake View because it was amazing on several different levels. We initially went because we wanted to see the Garfield Memorial, but as we wandered the grounds and read a bit about the cemetery, we realized there were many, many interesting stories there. Lots of fascinating people there, and some amazing art/architecture as well.
I've enjoyed researching a few of these stories and would love to go back to find some more stories to tell.


There are several interesting stories within those grounds. Cleveland had some incredible organizations and people at the turn of the last century. Good luck in your research. If you have any more interest in this story, feel free to email me. I've done a great deal of research on the subject. Thanks again for posting the story.

Andrew Cochrane

Today whilst walking along the Thames River near Marlow in England with my wife we saw a remarkable mock gothic edifice which I have subsequently found out is known locally as the cardboard castle. Being curious about the story behind it I eventually discovered references to this lady living there and subsequently read this amazing back story. Definitely material for a TV mini series there.

Dominique King

Andrew-Thanks for reading my story! No doubt there is more than enough in the story of Laura's life to provide material for at least one TV mini-series or movie. I love finding fascinating stories like these...and the Lake View Cemetery certainly proved a great place for finding stories like this one.

Joey Dittman

Laura went to Bali accompanied by Vicomte de La Rochefoucauld and Marquis Talleyrand de Perigord. She rented an aircraft and a boat and visited serveral countries uncluding PNG. One can read about that in a letter of the German Artist Walter Spies to his mother on march 12th 1934. She seems to have eben extremely genorous towards the locals. It's a fascinating story.

Dominique King

Thanks for stopping by and adding to Laura's story, Joey! What little I did learn on my own was fascinating, and I'd love to see someone do a more detailed biography or, as someone else suggested, a film about her life.

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