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."

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How Sad This Never Came to Pass: "Avocational Archaeology Outreach, State Register of Archaeological Landmarks, State Archaeological Preserve, and Abandoned Cemetery and Unmarked Human Burial Ground Protection Programs"

I checked with Mr. Tonetti this morning about this proposal and learned that it was not implemented.  


"Costs of Implementing the Recommendations Made to the House Select Committee Studying the Effectiveness of Ohio?s Historical Programs and Partnerships"

Alan C. Tonetti -- Trustee, Ohio Archaeological Council

February 1, 2002

"Avocational Archaeology Outreach, State Register of Archaeological Landmarks, State Archaeological Preserve, and Abandoned Cemetery and Unmarked Human Burial Ground Protection Programs"

"The estimated cost of these programs, $200,000, is based on our cost estimates for establishing a three-person office for developing and implementing these programs. These programs involve outreach to private organizations and citizens, state agencies, and local governments to protect archaeological sites and places of human burial. The State Historic Preservation Office frequently works with these stakeholders and should develop and implement these programs. The Ohio Revised Code requires the Ohio Historical Society to cooperate with avocational archaeologists and develop a State Registry of Archaeological Landmarks and an Archaeological Preserve program."

"Although the Ohio Revised Code does not require the Ohio Historical Society to develop and implement an abandoned cemetery and unmarked human burial ground preservation program, a program to help protect the tens of thousands of abandoned cemeteries and unmarked human burial grounds in Ohio is urgently needed from both a social and economic standpoint. Ohio is one of the few states that does not have state legislation specifically designed to protect such places. The lack of such a process results in stalled economic development projects while disputes concerning the ownership and treatment of such places are addressed in lengthy legal proceedings. The protection of abandoned and unmarked cemeteries is strongly supported by the public. Successful protection programs demonstrate that protection is most effectively accomplished by inviting the participation of local government planning agencies, law enforcement agencies, affected landowners, preservation organizations, and citizens into the process of creating and implementing the program."

"Group Trying To Clean Up Chillicothe Cemetery In Disrepair" - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio -- Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Huntington Township, Ross County, Ohio

There is also a Facebook Page set up for the Floral Hills Memory Gardens clean up campaign!

Sharing Information from the Facebook Page:


A sad neglected Cemetery that is being forgotten by our leaders. The owners have abandoned it and the Township refuses to care for it. The Attorney Generals Office has filed suit against it....but it sits in the hands of the legal system unkempt.


A cemetery that is located at 4284 US RT 23 Chillicothe, OH 45601. 

The owner, Joseph Miller, filed CH 13 after fleeing to Nevada.  His partner, Ronald Downey, has fled to Michigan. Neither has left any means of upkeep and care of the grounds and are refusing to honor any of the prepaid services that have been purchased through the cemetery. 
The Attorney General filed a suit against the 2 owners in May 2012, with nothing of any signifigance being done to get a resolutiuon to the problem. 

One of the items Mr. Miller is trying to do is surrender the property in lieu of taxes owed. By ORC the property would then be handed over to the Township where the property is located. (Huntington Twp, Ross County). The problem is Huntington Twp has refused to accept responsibility for the grounds due to the trustees claiming they are not finacially able to maintain the grounds, they also state they have sought guidance thru their "Prosecuter" and have been advised that they do not have to take it. 

With all legal issues aside ..it is the attempt by this group to bring this tragic situation to the public and clean up the Cemetery grounds and find a resolution to further the maintenance of the grounds.

Latest Update:

"Floral Hills suit ruling expected on Friday"