It has stood for nearly a century, located near Chattanooga, Ohio, just west of Zion Lutheran Cemetery on Tama Road. Situated on the edge of a field and once considered a modern form of burial, it is the final resting place for nearly 40 former area residents. The structure is the Chattanooga Mausoleum, built about 1915.
Mausoleums, such as the Taj Mahal in India, were built centuries ago as tombs for the dead, but lost popularity after Christianity became prominent. They seemed to gain popularity again after the death of Prince Albert in 1861, when his widow Queen Victoria ordered that a mausoleum be built for them at Frogmore. Their elaborate mausoleum was completed in 1871.
Today the Chattanooga Mausoleum is one of only three mausoleums in Mercer County. The others are both in Celina, one at North Grove Cemetery and the other at the Catholic Cemetery.
What many people probably don’t realize is that the Chattanooga Mausoleum never belonged to Zion Lutheran Church nor is it part of Zion Cemetery. It belonged to the Chattanooga Mausoleum Association, originally comprised of some of those that established the mausoleum and their successors. My great-grandfather Jacob Miller was one of the original Mausoleum Association members.
This is to certify that Jacob Miller having paid in full therefor is entitled to the exclusive ownership and control of Compartments No. 5 and 6, Section F on West side of the Compartment Mausoleum No…….erected under the patents and plans of construction of the Ohio Mausoleum Company at Chattanooga, Ohio, and we hereby grant and convey full title to same, subject to the rules and regulations of the Chattanooga Mausoleum Association. In Witness Whereof the Chattanooga Mausoleum Association has caused this certificate to be signed and issued by its duly authorized officers this 20 day of Nov A.D. 1916.
THE CHATTANOOGA MAUSOLEUM ASSOCIATION, H.C. Baker, President, S. A. Bollenbacher, Secretary.
Number of Compartments 2. Number of Certificate 13.
The Chattanooga Mausoleum was built by Henry Baker and Samuel and Ed Bollenbacher in about 1915. 
The land deed for the mausoleum property shows that Henry C. & Margaret Baker sold the land to the Chattanooga Mausoleum Association for $100 on 1 December 1916 and the transaction was recorded on 22 January 1917. The mausoleum property dimensions are 100 by 60 feet, with the 60 feet being along Tama Road. Interesting that the only stipulation in the deed about maintenance was that Chattanooga Mausoleum Association and their successors were “to keep in repair all fence on the line of said above described real estate on the north and west sides so that said fence is satisfactory for use of any farm stock which may be in the adjoining field or fields.” Anton Koch and John H. Kable were witnesses to the deed. 
The dedication of the new Mausoleum of Chattanooga Sunday afternoon was largely attended, indicating the deep interest taken in that community in this modern manner of burial. The building is one of the finest in this section of the state being built of stone with marble interior and decorated in mural paintings. The dedicatory address was made by Rev. M.C. Howey, of Lima, who held his audience in close attention. He was followed in an address by Rev. Egger who spike in German. Music was furnished by a male quartette and the Evangelical choir. 
The Chattanooga Mausoleum is kept locked but is opened on Memorial Day for visitors. The building has a light marble interior and some stained glass windows. I have been inside the mausoleum a couple times and have taken a few photos but I have not recorded the names inscribed on the vaults. Not all the vaults have been used and some of the bodies have been removed and interred elsewhere.
The first interment in the Chattanooga Mausoleum appears to have been that of Owen Sapp in 1915. There were several interments soon after: Joseph Schmidt in 1916, John Baumgartner, Carrie Bollenbacher, and Salena Laudahn in 1917, and my great-grandfather Jacob Miller in 1918. Jacob’s wife Christena (Rueck) Miller was laid to rest there in 1945. The last interment was Clarence Linn in 1980. 
The Mercer County Cemetery Inscription book lists 41 mausoleum interments. I cross-checked those names on Find A Grave.com and it appears that three bodies have been moved: Vernon R. Bollenbacher (1907-1930), moved beside his parents in North Grove Cemetery, Celina; Philip Linn (1841-1920) and his wife Margaret (Miller) Linn (1847-1924), moved to Swamp College west of Celina.  Margaret (Miller) Linn was my great-grandfather Jacob Miller’s sister.
There are two additional vault inscriptions that are not listed in Mercer County’s cemetery book: Stella May Height (1890-1960) and George I. Height (1864-1959). George Height’s obituary indicates that he was to be buried in the Chattanooga Cemetery.  George and Stella are not buried in Zion’s cemetery but they were probably once interred in the mausoleum and later moved. Find a Grave.com indicates they are buried in Ridge Cemetery, Middle Point, Ohio.
I also compared the mausoleum records with Zion’s records and found three more persons that are supposedly buried in the mausoleum, per the church records: Viola Kable (1910-1921), Walter Kable (1906-1921), and Mary Catherine Carr (1921-1922). I searched for these names on Find A Grave but did not find their tombstones listed. However, Mary Catherine Carr’s name is inscribed on her parents’ tombstone at Zion Cemetery. Her parents were J. Homer and Leona Carr.
Only one member of the Chattanooga Mausoleum Association remains today [a successor, not an original member] and there are no funds available to maintain the building. In the summer of 2013 the Liberty Township trustees took possession of the Chattanooga Mausoleum and are now responsible for it.
 Mercer County Chapter OGS, compiler, Mercer County, Ohio, Cemetery Inscriptions, Vol. VI, Blackcreek, Hopewell, and Liberty Townships, (Celina, Ohio : Privately printed, 1990), p.73.
 Mercer County Deed Books, Vol. 103: 530, Mercer County Recorder, Celina, Ohio.
 Dedicate Mausoleum, The Willshire Herald, Willshire, Ohio, 21 July 1916, p. 1.
 Mercer County Chapter, Mercer County, Ohio, Cemetery Inscriptions, Volume VI, 73.
 Find A Grave.com (www.findagrave.com : accessed 12 September 2013).
 George Height obituary, The Lima News, Lima, Ohio, 27 March 1959, digital image by subscription Ancestry.com, (www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 September 2013.), p. 2.