Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of 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."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coe and Butternut Ridge Cemeteries - North Olmsted, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Many thanks to Linda Hiser for bringing to my attention the efforts planned for cleaning up the Coe and Butternut Ridge Cemeteries. Below is an excerpt from the March 19, 2009 story published in the "Sun Herald Newspaper" about this project. Contact information is provided in the story for those interested in volunteering with this project:
"Plan to clean up cemeteries expands into a larger project
Thursday, March 19, 2009
By Sara Macho smacho@sunnews.com
NORTH OLMSTEDHigh school student Philip Tomko turned his service project to clean up local cemeteries into a new task for the planning department.
Tomko, a member of the school's SITES service learning program, was given the assignment to help out the community through a project.
His plans to clean up Coe and Butternut Ridge cemeteries morphed into the creation of a citywide plan that includes tombstone preservation and improvement to traffic areas.
While a formalized plan is still in the works, Planning Director Kim Wenger said both cemeteries will be surveyed and costs will be assessed.
"Self education is a big part of the effort," Wenger said of the tedious task.
Officials are exploring how to go about the project, as concerns have come up including having to notify families before work can be done on aging grave markers.
Some tombstones date back to the 1800s.
"Proper preservation is key," Wenger said. "We're discussing having a gravestone conservation workshop."
The planning department has also obtained records of buried veterans, and is working to compare those records to what is already housed in the planning department.
As part of his service project, Tomko presented photographs and personal observations of the aging infrastructure to the landmarks commission.
He also presented his findings to Wenger, who expanded the school project into something more formal and citywide.
"Headstones are broken, missing, sunken in the ground and all scattered throughout the cemetery," Tomko said. "Families could be hurt when seeing these and it hurts everyone as a community."
Tomko said the main premise for his improvement plan is to respect those who died.
To address the needed improvements, a cemetery improvement committee was created recently and meets monthly.
Membership is open, and interested residents can call the planning department at (440) 716-4118 for more information.
Proposed plans include the installation of a historical marker at Coe Cemetery and traffic path improvements at Butternut Ridge.
"Some headstones in danger of falling apart should be first priority," Wenger said.
Residents interested in learning more about the cemetery improvements are encouraged to attend the landmarks commission meetings held the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 5200 Dover Center Road...."