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, December 31, 2014

Wishing Everyone a Happy New Year ! Thank You for Stopping by!

All Saints Cemetery, Babyland Section, Northfield, Ohio
Thanking all of those who have contributed to this blog over the past year.  

Thanking you, the readers, who have so kindly stopped by to visit.  

Thanking the wonderful "Find A Grave" photo volunteers for their work fulfilling gravestone photo requests and posting gravestone photos to memorials. 

Thanking all those who have brought awareness of the needs of so many cemeteries in Ohio that have remained for so long neglected and almost forgotten about -- except by you.   Without you, these cemeteries and the gravesites they contain would be totally forgotten and lose their identity.   
May your dedicated efforts on their behalf continue to succeed. 
The year 2015 will bring new cemetery preservation challenges to overcome, but they will not be so great as to overshadow the new opportunities that await us to recognize and grasp. 
May your opportunities be boundless!  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Gravesite of Revolutionary War Veteran, Pvt. Robert Dickey, will be Marked by a Hand Carved Gravestone Created by Notable Indiana Carver, Casey Winningham

Thanking Scott Andersen for sharing two photographs (shown below) of the Robert Dickey gravestone that was recently hand carved by well-known Indiana carver, Mr. Casey Winningham
The gravestone recreates an original design with detailed carved motifs and inscription appropriate for the date of death time period.   
Rev. War veteran, Robert Dickey, was buried at the Dean Cemetery, in Buckskin Township, Ross County, Ohio.

Abstracted from the "Find A Grave" Memorial of Robert Dickey:

"Revolutionary War Patriot.
Light horseman in Capt Thomas Kirkpatrick's Company, Col Tom Bratton's Regiment in South Carolina.
Member of the 2nd Provincial Congress, 1775-1776.
Born in Albermarle County, Virginia.
Son of John Dickey and Martha McNeeley, both of Ireland."

(Two views of the Pvt. Robert Dickey Gravestone)
 (Photograph below taken by Scott Andersen - June, 2014)
The gravesite of Pvt. Robert Dickey

(Photograph below)
Scott Andersen at the Dean Cemetery in September, 2011

(Photograph Below)
Gravestone Carver, Casey Winningham

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Obituary: Martha A. 'Marti' O'Neill | Friedrich-Jones & Overman-Jones, serving Naperville & Plainfield IL

 Sharing this "Find A Grave" Memorial for my long time friend and pen-pal, Martha "Marti" Pugacz O'Neill.  

I only met Marti once but we corresponded for 50 years.  It all started over our mutual 'love' of the Beatles!  

I miss hearing from you, Marti.

Sharing News of a New Gravestone Conservation Business in Pennsylvania

Sharing news of a new gravestone conservation business based in Pennsylvania  -- "Gravekeepers of Pennsylvania"  -- Owned by Robert P. Myers.  

We look forward to hearing more about their work in the coming months.   



Harry Limes (1904 - 1988) - Find A Grave Memorial

Sharing my "Find A Grave" Memorial in honor of my father, Harry Limes.

 Harry Limes graduation photograph
McComb High School, McComb, Ohio 1923
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas today as we reflect on our blessings, please remember our armed forces men and women in your prayers.  They cannot be home with their families today and so we pray for their continued safety and well being.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

We can Help the "Friends of Eastern Cemetery" in Louisville, Kentucky

The Eastern Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky has many friends including Andy Harpole and all of the dedicated group of volunteers who have donated hours of their time to its needed care.  

Please take a moment to vote for Andy, and the volunteers.  Your vote helps them continue with their work. 

From Andy Harpole:

"We are rounding the home stretch folks and we really need your daily votes (you can vote every 24 hours from each device)!! The initial voting ends on January 6th at midnight, first place is $50,000 and the next five runners up receive $5000, if we win 100% of the money goes toward the restoration of Eastern Cemetery. 

It takes 10 seconds and you don't have to sign up for anything, simply click on the link and hit the "vote for this story" link. VOTE HARD!!"

      Please click HERE and then click the vote button. 

“Andy has dedicated hundreds of hours, thousands of dollars, and his own personal equipment to clean up Louisville's largest abandoned cemetery.”


"Eastern Cemetery is a 30 acre tract of land in the heart of the Highlands that has been abandoned for more than 20 years. In the late 1980's the company that cared for this cemetery dissolved and left no one to care for it. Over time the land was desecrated by vandals, used as a dumping site, and left to overgrow and decay with every passing season. Families would no longer visit the the graves of their loved ones because of its depressing views and the heart-wrenching depression that only added to the existing mourning of those were left behind to grieve.
This all changed early last year. Andy Harpole couldn't stand the site of this once-hallowed ground. With the city and state refusing to care for it, Andy began to visit the cemetery every weekend and brought with him his own equipment, gas, and stalwart work ethic. After only a few months Andy was able to convince a handful of other people to join him. Over time the group, now known as "Friends of Eastern Cemetery," has grown and number over 30 strong. Every Sunday, from 11am to 4pm Andy and all the volunteers work at Eastern Cemetery to restore, preserve and protect this once-forgotten cemetery. The grass gets cut, dead trees are hauled out, graffiti and spray paint has been removed, and the buildings now sport a brand new coat of paint. It actually looks like a cemetery again. 

Andy was able to arrange, through a private donation, over 1,000 American flags. This past Memorial day families of all walks of life came out to decorate graves of all the soldiers, sailors, and marines that rest in Eastern. Families have started to return and the cemetery is starting to have a sense of grace once more. 

Andy has poured his heart out, along with his own equipment and thousands of dollars of his personal earnings, to restore Eastern and has never asked for anything in return. For this, and all of his efforts, Andy is admired by not only the families of those who have relatives in Eastern, but by his fellow volunteers as well."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Ohio History Connection Updates Their Cemetery Preservation Page

Click HERE to view the updated "Cemetery Preservation" Page on the Ohio History Connection website. 

The category of "Cemetery Preservation" is located under "Preservation Where You Live" which is located within a Main Category Heading of:  "State Historic Preservation Office".


The Ohio History Connection was formerly called the Ohio Historical Society.  

The website also includes links to their Local History Office.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hellen M. Wells (1854 - 1856) - Find A Grave Memorial

Please note, this white marble marker was subjected to the pressure of a Nyalox Brush attached to a power drill.  It is now polished down so much that it has lost its outer skin layer and is smooth.  No graining can be felt with bare hands when touching the gravestone. 

Several white marble monuments and smaller markers have been subjected to this procedure at the Bedford Cemetery. 

Using Nyalox brushes attached to high speed power drills causes irreversible harm to gravestones.  Using these and other power tools is not condoned or endorsed by any recognized well-respected national organization such as the Association for Gravestone Studies or the NCPTT of the National Park Service. 
Please carefully interview any person or company who you may wish to hire and be sure that they do not use Nyalox brushes on power drills to clean and polish gravestones. 
Also, please note the sloppy resetting work done between the gravestone and the base.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sharing A Statement by Mr. Dennis Montagna, Vice President & Conservation Committee Chair of the Association for Gravestone Studies with Information Against the Use of Nyalox Brushes on Gravestones

Sharing this statement from Mr. Dennis Montagna, Vice President & Conservation Committee Chair, Association for Gravestone Studies.

Mr. Montagna's statement in this post is also included on a Page listed on the right-hand column of this blog. 
Two other statements on this subject, also on the Page, include those from Lynette Strangstad, author of the well-known publication "A Graveyard Preservation Primer" first published in 1988, and now in its second edition published in 2013; and  Mr. Ken Follett, founding member and first president of the Preservation Trades Network   


Statement from Dennis Montagna - Vice President & Conservation Committee Chair, Association for Gravestone Studies:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Shared with Permission:

"We neither support nor condone the aggressive cleaning of cemetery monuments, whether through mechanical or chemical means. Moreover, in my nearly nearly thirty years in the preservation field, I can't think of a single case in which the use of power-driven brushes made sense as a stone cleaning tool. In fact, Nyalox brushes are typically impregnated with aluminum oxide abrasives, so they would have an especially devastating effect on calcareous stones like marble, limestone and some sandstones."

Dennis Montagna, Ph.D
Vice President and Conservation Committee Chair
Association for Gravestone Studies

 Thanking Mr. Montagna for granting his permission to share his statement. 
Links to the Association for Gravestone Studies appear on the right-hand column of this blog including those for the Ohio Chapter's Facebook Page, and website.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ohio Attorney General's Office Settles Issue of Who is Responsible for the County Infirmary Cemetery in Fairfield County, Ohio

Sharing a link to a story about the County Infirmary Cemetery that appears in the December 11, 2014 online edition of the "Lancaster Eagle-Gazette" (Lancaster, Fairfield County, Ohio) that will be of particular interest to those who are dealing with settling disputes over cemetery ownership, and responsibility for maintenance and care.  

 Click HERE to read the full story by Jeff Barron, jbarron@lancastereaglegazette.com

Currently, the County Infirmary Cemetery lists 85 interments for it on "Find A Grave." 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sharing Additional Information about Cleaning Gravestones -- from the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Texas Gravestone Studies

The following information has been brought to my attention regarding two well regarded organizations and their contributions to gravestone conservation education: 

The websites of both organizations have posted significant information on the subject of properly cleaning gravestones. 

Each offers step-by-step details about the considerations involved including initial assessment of each gravestone's condition, being sure to choose only 'do no harm' products and procedures, and listing contact information for further help and questions.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency -- "Cleaning Stone Grave Markers"

Texas Gravestone Studies -  "Cleaning Gravestones"
The winter season is a great time to study and learn more about gravestone conservation so you can become better informed about those all important "DO's and DON'T's" to avoid mistakes and ensure proper cleaning of your ancestors' gravestones -- many of which may have required some time to locate!

Carl Reese (1931 - 2014) - Find A Grave Memorial

Carl Reese and Linda Ellis. 
 Photograph taken on October 5, 1991 at the WRMR Studios.
I had the pleasure of working with "Captain" Carl Reese at WJW Radio, AM 850 from February of 1981 to August of 1982.  However, I had been a fan of his for many years during his long radio broadcasting career in Cleveland radio.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

D2 Biological Solution Cleaner: How to clean Heastones, gravestones, tom...

Cyber Monday Shopping for Gravestone Cleaning and Repair Supplies

         Sharing this information for those who are professional gravestone conservators or for those who have attended workshops of professional gravestone conservators who have demonstrated how to properly apply cleaning and repairing products including "D/2 Biological Solution":


"Black Friday - Cyber Monday

11/28  through  12/1

Online Only Sale"

  "LimeWorks.us is offering 10% off your entire order* or take $50 off your purchase of our famous Graveyard Kit for 4 days only."
Click here to go to our online Store

Use the code (THANKS2014) for 10% off entire order.

Use Code (2014SALE) for $50.00 off the Graveyard Kit."

Does not include shipping, custom blends, mortar analysis or color simulations.
Cannot be combined with other offers."   


Thursday, November 27, 2014


As we stop to give thanks today, let us also honor and remember those who gave us our freedoms.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014 is "Wreaths Across America" day.   

Please take a moment to visit their website and learn more about it.  Thank you.

"It's not too late to sponsor wreaths at a participating WAA location near you. Our Volunteer Location Coordinators at over 1,000 locations nationwide, are working hard to organize their wreath ceremonies. Find the locations for your state and sponsor a wreath at this link, https://secure2.convio.net/waa/site/SPageServer/;jsessionid=83C6CB7B701F8676F8C76CD8828EA0A9.app261a?pagename=event_search#.Uzrmla1dVch This photo of the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, OH was shared with us by Don Pavlic. Thank you Don!"

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sharing a News Story from West Virginia - "Historian Explains Why It's Important to Preserve Your Nearby Graveyards"

Sharing a story from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.  

When I read stories like this one that was recently online and there is an option to post a comment, I often do so.  

I always hope my comments boost support for those featured in these types of stories -- people and organizations who are striving to properly preserve cemeteries and/or conserve gravestones.  

I think offering positive comments enhances the value of these published stories and brings greater awareness of the plight so many of America's cemeteries face, particularly the early pioneer burial grounds that are now often forgotten and left to fall into further deterioration.  

So, please if you feel so inclined and have a few extra moments in your day, lend your written support through posted comments in response to stories such as this one.  Your contribution will be an inspiration to other readers. 

Below are my comments to this story:
Many of the stories behind the stones can be found in news paper accounts of the day; in headlines, obituaries, obscure 'tidbit' type stories of who went to visit who, etc.  Also, in some states like Ohio where I live, many counties in the 1880s into the early 1900s published county histories that included biographical information about individuals, families, churches, businesses, and cemeteries that have gone into reprint editions in more recent years.  Some of these publications are offered online too.  A gravestone is a tangible artifact that was erected at the site of the deceased person it was meant to identify and memorialize.  To fulfill its intended purpose it should be kept whole and as original as possible; meaning the inscription and epitaphs are clear and readable.  A gravestone has many enemies, but none more destructive than man himself.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sharing News of Two New Publications from the Ohio Genealogical Society: "Ohio's Black Soldiers Who Served in the Civil War" and "Grave Marking Ceremonies"

Sharing information about two new books from the Ohio Genealogical Society:  

"Ohio's Black Soldiers Who Served In The Civil War" 
 "Grave Marking Ceremonies."


If you reside in Ohio: 

To access the Ohio Department of Taxation's Sales Tax Finder Calculator, Click HERE.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Change of Ownership of Sugar Grove Cemetery in Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio

Thanking Michael Lee Anderson, member of the Preserving Ohio's Cemeteries Facebook Group, for bringing awareness of the news about a change in ownership of the Sugar Grove Cemetery in Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio that is scheduled to take place January 1, 2015. 
Click HERE to link to the Sugar Grove Cemetery's current website which states that there are over 15,000 interments at the cemetery.  

Another news story also ran on November 7, 2014. 
Click HERE to read the most recent article concerning the Sugar Grove Cemetery. 

"The cemetery, which has been privately owned, will become property of the City of Wilmington following years of financial struggles, as the News Journal previously reported. 
By law, when a private cemetery board dissolves, a local government entity must take over the cemetery operations."


Sugar Grove Cemetery (AKA Wilmington Cemetery) has 6,684 interments listed for it on "Find A Grave."

There are seven people buried at Sugar Grove Cemetery that are listed in the Famous Category on Find A Grave.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Moving Ahead with "Marking Their Graves" - December 1, 2014 Deadline to Add Your Comments

Sharing an email about revising the rules that define who is eligible to order government headstones and markers for veterans.  A change is needed so those other than next of kin are able to submit an order for government headstones for veterans.  

Too many deceased veterans across America are buried in unmarked graves.
The deadline is December 1, 2014 to make your comments.  
To comment click HERE.

"Thank you for your email regarding “Marking the graves of America’s veterans” and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regulatory definition of “applicant” for purposes of applying for a Government-furnished headstone or marker.

The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations regarding applications for headstones or markers.  VA is proposing to amend the definition of “applicant,” set forth in 38 CFR 38.632, as it pertains to individuals requesting VA headstones or markers.  In 2009, VA implemented the existing definition of applicant to include the decedent’s next of kin (NOK), a person authorized in writing by NOK, or a personal representative authorized in writing by the decedent.  An individual who met the definition was authorized to apply for a Government-furnished headstone or marker, or a new emblem of belief for inscription on a Government-furnished headstone or marker.   
Since 2009, VA has received a number of requests from individuals who did not meet the current definition of applicant for headstones or markers. VA has acknowledged concerns that the current regulatory definition of applicant was too restrictive and resulted in identified Veteran gravesites going unmarked.  VA shares the goal to ensure appropriate recognition of Veterans who served the United States and proposes to revise the definition of applicant to ease the restrictive aspects of the definition and allow more individuals to apply for headstones or markers, including memorial headstones or markers.

On October 1, 2014, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published in the Federal Register, a proposed rule to amend the existing definition of eligible applicants by expanding the types of individuals who may request headstones or markers on behalf of decedents. 

VA is seeking input from Veterans, family members and other stakeholders regarding a proposed change to its definition of who may apply for a headstone or marker. 

Those wishing to review and comment on the proposed changes are encouraged to do so by searching for “National Cemetery Administration” or “2900-AO95” at www.regulations.gov.  Comments must be received on or before December 1, 2014.

Thank you for your interest in the Government Headstone and Marker Program."


National Cemetery Administration
Department of Veterans Affairs

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blair E Nunamaker (1905 - 1944) - Find A Grave Memorial

Lake View Cemetery
Cuyahoga County
Ohio, USA
Plot: Section 1 Lot 372-0


BLAIR NUNAMAKER, Cleveland, Ohio
Inducted 1970

"Player: Blair Nunamaker won his first World Championship in 1929, pitching 69.5% ringers, and losing just one game. He held the title until his third place finish in 1933, behind C.C. Davis and Ted Allen. Blair placed 11th in the 1923 World Tournament, 7th in 1925, 4th in 1926, and 3rd in 1927 and 1928.

He was Ohio State Champion four straight years from 1933 through 1936. During his reign as champion, Blair traveled coast to coast giving exhibition and playing in open tournaments and was a popular, well liked individual who did much to stimulate interest in the game. Blair died in June of 1944 in Florida after a lengthy illness of TB." 

Blair Nunamaker Died in Cleveland
"Blair E. Nunamaker, 38, former world champion horseshoe pitcher, died at City Hospital Cleveland, June 30 after a prolonged illness. 

Blair spent much of his boyhood in Mantua and later attended school in Cleveland where he became interested in athletics at East High. 

 After participating in Cleveland sporting events, Mr. Nunamaker aroused national interest in 1929 when he defeated Champion Frank Jackson of Iowa in the elimination contests for the world championship horseshoe tournament at St. Petersburg Fla. 

Mr. Nunamaker is survived by his mother, Mrs. Belle Nunamaker, with whom he lived at 1238 Hayden Avenue, East Cleveland. Funeral services were held at Abel's Funeral Home, 15317 Euclid Ave., East Cleveland.

Blair E. Nunamaker, whose ability repeatedly to loop a horseshoe over an iron peg at a distance of 40 feet made him the world's champion horseshoe pitcher, died yesterday at City Hospital. The former horseshoe champion was only 38 at the time of his death and had been ill a long time. 

Mr. Nunamaker was born in Mantua, O., and as a child was brought to Cleveland by his family. He attended grade school and East High School here and was highly successful in athletics. 

Cleveland has won renown through the accomplishments of many of her sons but it remained for the tall and loose-muscled East High School youth to bring the city national repute as a horseshoe pitching champion's home town. 

In 1929 Mr. Nunamaker entered the world's championship tournament at St. Petersburg, Fla., and threw enough ringers to amaze a crowd of veteran horseshoe fans and take the crown of Charles Davis of Columbus. 

Mr. Nunamaker lived at 1238 Hayden Ave., East Cleveland, with his mother, Mrs. Belle Nunamaker, who survives him. Services will be conducted at 3 tomorrow afternoon at the Abel Funeral Home, 15317 Euclid Ave., East Cleveland.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Salem and Rush Twps. service levies | Springfield, OH News

“Townships are mandated to provide for the care and maintenance of over 2,400 cemeteries in Ohio and must find the funds to care for the cemeteries,” 
said Rep. Doug Green, R-Mount Orab.