Exploring almost forgotten gravesites in Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ohio Historic Inventory Finalized for Sheep Pen Cemetery - Madison Township, Highland County, Ohio


Sharing the completed forms for the Ohio Historic Inventory submitted to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio History Connection (Formerly the Ohio Historical Society)  for Sheep Pen Cemetery (also known as the Gustin Cemetery or Limes Cemetery) located in Madison Township, Highland County, Ohio. 

**** Sheep Pen Cemetery's OHI number is:  HIG0031202****
These papers are on file at the
Ohio Historic Preservation Office and will be retained in their records for reference. 
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I personally feel that these Ohio History Inventories serve as a valuable tool for identifying, in particular, Ohio's inactive cemeteries which are not registered with the State of Ohio. 

These "OHI's" provide state level documentation for recognizing a cemetery's existence substantiated through the information provided in writing and documented by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office on the form pages that show its location, ownership, and any important historical notations about the cemetery such as affiliation with a church (either past or present), and veterans or notable persons interred in it. 

There is so much history to be learned from cemeteries and the gravesites and gravestones that are found in them; whether the cemetery is large or small, city or rural, each one has its unique characteristics that make it special and worth preserving.

Click HERE for more information about the Ohio Historic Inventory.  

Click HERE to link to the online mapping tools.

To obtain a PDF of the fillable form for individual OHI's, contact:

Susan Tietz | National Register and Inventory Manager, State Historic Preservation Office
Ohio History Connection 
800 E. 17th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43211
p. 614.298.2000 | f. 614.298.2037 | stietz@ohiohistory.org

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 Statement from Susan Tietz:
"The purpose of the creation of an OHI form for a historic resource is simply to document the resource’s existence, it’s location, physical appearance and condition. It is a record of the property and does not convey any particular designation. The more information we have collectively about Ohio’s historic resources, the more we can understand the history of the state. As for protection, documentation on an OHI is the first step—it documents the location and existence of the cemetery. For the most part, raising public awareness about historic cemeteries has been the most effective protection.  The Ohio Historic Inventory is used by the State Historic Preservation Office staff, by various state, local, and federal agencies, and by the general public for making land-use planning, urban development, and road-improvement decisions.

In addition, the inventory serves as an official archive and body of information for researchers and property owners, alike."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ohio Historic Inventory Completed at Ohio History Connection's Preservation Office for Walnut Creek (Quaker) Cemetery in Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Sharing the pages of the Ohio Historic Inventory that were filed for the Walnut Creek (Quaker) Cemetery in Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio.  

Walnut Creek Cemetery has been assigned its identification number with the Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society).  The number is Fay0018009. 

A link for further information about the I-Form for the Ohio Historic Inventory.




The Walnut Creek Cemetery is listed on Find A Grave. Currently, 378 interments are listed for it on this website.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Sharing a "Before and After" Side-by-Side Comparison of Solomon Ennis' Marble Marker and Why Less is Often More


These photos are close up views of the upright marker for Solomon Ennis who died February 13, 1848 and was buried at the Bedford Cemetery in Bedford, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The photograph on the left was taken September 3, 2012 by a "Find A Grave" contributor and prior to any repair or cleaning application.

The photograph on the right was taken on April 12, 2015 during my visit to the Bedford Cemetery.  This photograph shows us the stark contrast to the one taken in 2012.  It shows us what it looks like now after it was repaired and highly polished with a power tool.

This gravestone was repaired, cleaned, and polished sometime in 2013 - 2014.  While the repair work to the cracks appears to have been done in an acceptable manner, however, the unnaturally bright white and shiny highly polished surface finish is indicative of other gravestones in this cemetery that have been known to be polished using a Nyalox Brush on a power drill.  

This gravestone had clear deeply carved lettering and a beautifully carved open Bible motif that were all diminished in depth and clarity by the abrasiveness caused by use of one or more Nyalox Brushes rotating at high speeds attached to a portable power drill.

Obviously, using power tools on gravestones is not condoned by nationally recognized professional gravestone organizations and their conservators  such as NCPTT and A.G.S.

Unfortunately, this marker has lost some of the outer 'skin' because this aggressive and abrasive method that had been evidently used one or more times over all of its marble surface during the 'polishing' process.   

Based on photographs of other gravestones that were taken right after they were subjected to such 'treatment' that are published online, marble dust can be seen surrounding the gravestone as well as on any plant life near it.

Sadly, often those who use this damaging 'treatment' defend and promote it in their business and at workshops they hold as being part of a restoration process; 'restoring' the gravestone back to its original condition.  That they are in the business of restoration and not preservation or conservation.

This begs the question, how can a peeling away a layer of stone return it to its original condition?   -- And, the fact that they, themselves, were not taught by any nationally known reputable preservation organization's conservator to engage in this type of 'polishing' of gravestones activity in the first place?
 
Seeing is believing, and so is touching -- feeling the surface of  a gravestone such as Solomon Ennis' and noting how it compares to the few other marble markers in the same cemetery still in their original condition; those that thus far have escaped being subjected to any type of aggressive polishing 'treatment.'  
 
Those fortunate markers still have their natural graining because they have escaped being highly polished into a shiny 'bleached' bright white finish.  Hopefully, they can continue to remain untouched and retain their originality and dignity that has been theirs since they were first placed to honor the departed person whose gravesite they stand guard over.