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."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cemetery Preservation News from the Scioto County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society

The Scioto County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society's cemetery preservation project was highlighted in a recent news article from "communitycommon.com"


"An on-going project has been to locate and document cemeteries of Scioto County. 

We plan this year to acknowledge the caregivers of the cemeteries and have some “Wanted Posters” for cemeteries that have been forgotten or neglected in the area with “ADOPT A CEMETERY PROGRAM”. 

Do you know a cemetery that needs a little T.L.C. would you or a group like to donate time to cleanup or cut grass? 

Do you know someone who is already doing this? We would like to say “Thank you” to them for their hard work. 

Please let us know and send us an e-mail to sccogs@sccogs.com We have a member who joined our society because they came to hear our speaker about Gravestone Care. They wanted to learn because they had found a cemetery they had been cleaning up. 

Yes we have some wonderful people who see a need and want to help. We also have wonderful city workers and township officials who care for our cemeteries that need to know we appreciate what they are doing."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Announcing the Spring Meeting of the "Ohio Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies"

We are indeed fortunate here in Ohio to have a statewide chapter of the "Association for Gravestone Studies." 

 Beth Santore is the chairperson for the "Ohio Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies."
Beth Santore, as so many of us already know from her long-running website:  "Grave Addiction"also has a  Facebook Fan Page  for "Grave Addiction" so please take a look at both! 
Sharing below the newly released announcement of the 2014 Spring Meeting for the Ohio Chapter of the Association for Gravestone Studies:
"Hello, AGS Ohio Chapter members:
Please save the date for our 2014 Spring Meeting in Knox County!

When: May 3, 2014 - Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

Where: The Fredericktown Administration Building (the old high school), 117 Columbus Road, Fredericktown, 43019

Chapter Member Krista Horrocks is our meeting coordinator this spring, and she is going to show us some incredible cemeteries in the Fredericktown area. More details will be announced as we get closer to the meeting date. The tentative schedule is below:

MORNING PROGRAM: During the morning we will have presentations from members and guests. If you are interested in sharing information about your gravestone research, conservation projects, etc please let me know so I can get you added to the schedule. Presentations can be formal or informal - we just want to hear about any cemetery work or research you've been doing. Please send me a title and brief description, and I'll get you added to the presentation schedule.

LUNCH MEETING: While eating, we'll have our meeting portion of the day to discuss cemetery-related events around Ohio as well as plans for future meetings.

AFTERNOON: Cemetery tours! We'll be carpooling to the cemeteries, and written directions to each stop will be provided in case anyone gets separated.

Please RSVP via facebook or e-mail if you're planning to attend. This will help us plan the amount of meeting materials to prepare.

Since the chapter meetings are a means to increase awareness of and membership in AGS, if you have any friends who might be interested in the organization who are not yet members, please encourage them to attend! 

Please feel free to contact me via e-mail, facebook, or phone if you have any questions about the meeting.

Hope to see you on May 3!"

Beth Santore
Ohio Chapter Chair
Cell: 614-949-6027
Email:  graveaddiction@gmail.com

Friday, February 21, 2014

Spotlighting: "Ohio Cemeteries" - Featuring FamilySearch.org

Many of us who also engage in genealogical research (which I firmly feel goes hand-in-hand with locating and visiting gravesites) are aware of the advantages of researching through the free website "FamilySearch.org."

There is so much to explore on "FamilySearch.org" and more new links are added almost daily.  

I would like to share here one page in particular:  "Ohio Cemeteries"  AND extend my personal appreciation to "FamilySearch" for including "Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio" blog on their list of Ohio cemetery resources!  

So, please take some time soon to enjoy checking out "Ohio Cemeteries"

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sharing Updated Information about Williams County, Ohio's WPA Cemetery Plat Maps

I learned today from Patti Rockey of the Williams County Recorder's Office that their WPA Cemetery Plat Maps are now all posted on their website! 

The maps are arranged alphabetically by township name with cemetery names listed alphabetically within each township.  

A real bonus for a researcher, is the additional historical information that details the entire history of the WPA program (Works Progress Administration / Works Projects Administration).  

Many younger folks, in particular, may not be well versed in this important part of American history and its direct impact on those who were out of work during the long years that were known as The Great Depression. 

Melba E Lombard Berry (1914 - 2004) - Find A Grave Memorial

Sharing this "Find A Grave" Memorial of a wonderful lady who would be 100 years old this St. Valentine's Day.  

Happy Birthday in Heaven dear Melba E. Lombard Berry!!  

Jerry A. Limes Guest Book on The Columbus Dispatch

Sharing this memorial for "Jerry" A. Limes.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Stopping by for a Winter's Visit to Sheep Pen Cemetery, Madison Township, Highland County, Ohio

Thanking Scott and Venus Andersen for snapping some photos during their stop by Sheep Pen Cemetery to see how it looks on this sunny yet deceivingly crisp and cold snow-laden day!  

The road to the cemetery was snow covered enough that parking was a problem for them.  The depth of the snow prevented safe walking into the cemetery itself.  However, Scott said from what they could see, the monuments and markers looked to be in good shape; which is great news!  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thanking the Lorain Historical Society (Formerly the Black River Historical Society) for Posting a Link to "Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio" on their Facebook Page

Extending my sincere appreciation to the Lorain Historical Society (formerly known as the Black River Historical Society) for posting a link on their Facebook Page to "Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio." 

Lorain is my hometown, and I enjoy visiting the city whenever I can.  Unfortunately, I no longer reside there.  

Among my stops to make and places to linger while in Lorain are at both of the city's larger cemeteries:  Calvary Cemetery and Elmwood Cemetery where so many relatives including my parents, both sets of grandparents, and several aunts and uncles; as well as friends, and former neighbors, are buried.  

After my gravesite visits comes a trip downtown to see what is happening on Broadway and a quick lunch.  

My 'must stop' is at the museum of the Lorain Historical Society on West Fifth Street.  Besides enjoying a tour of the Moore House Museum's displays of historical Lorain artifacts, I enjoy shopping in their gift shop and browsing their latest items; all with a Lorain theme of course --  the famous "Jewel of the Port" Lorain Lighthouse, beautiful Lakeview Park, and the awesome Bascule Bridge -- to name just a few well-known Lorain landmarks! 

A bonus for me is being able to spend some time speaking to the nice knowledgeable folks who volunteer their time at the museum.  They are the 'backbone' of the society and  make it possible for visitors who come from near and far to spend part of their day learning more about Lorain's past. 

The Moore House Museum of the Lorain Historical Society is currently closed, but it will be re-opening on March 5, 2014.  

Contact information:   

Email:   bpiscopo@loraincityhistory.org 
or call 440-245-2563.  

In the meantime, please enjoy the website of the Lorain Historical Society with its historical photographs and related links


If you are a Lorainite who has moved away, or had family that either lived in Lorain or are buried in one of its cemeteries, please consider joining the Lorain Historical Society -- your membership will help you happily re-connect with your roots! 
   Rows of gravesites with angel-topped monuments at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spotlighting Ohiogravestones.org!

Sharing this recent news about Ohiogravetones.org  

Connie K. Schumaker is now the State Administrator for Ohiogravestones.org. and below are some of her comments about this website solely devoted to gravestone photographs from Ohio cemeteries that she wishes to share:

"Since I have taken on state admin for Ohiogravestones I have set a few goals for myself; promote the site to let more Ohio researchers know we are here, increase the number of gravestone photos added to the site, and add volunteers as county coordinators. 

If any of you have not been to http://ohiogravestones.org/ stop by and look around. All 88 Ohio counties are listed.  Some have a few photos and others have over 10,000 - 16,000 plus photos like in counties: Union, Richland, Stark, Meigs, Franklin, & Montgomery.  I would like to see the numbers for each county grow. So, if any of you out there have photos, even if it is only a couple, I ask that you take a couple minutes and submit them to Ohiogravestones.

If someone has a photo of the cemetery and/or the sign of the cemetery they can submit those too.  Just where the submission box asks for Surname put the word "Cemetery" and then the name of of the Cemetery in the box that asks for first name. If you have a photo of a sign of the cemetery in the Surname box put the words "Cemetery Sign" and the name of the cemetery in the box for the first name. Then in the comment box you can add information as to the location, condition of the cemetery and directions on how to find it."
"Thank you for visiting OhioGravestones.Org."

****PLEASE NOTE:****
"We are currently seeking volunteers to help take and upload photos for many cemeteries across Ohio. If you have an interest in volunteering for this rewarding part-time activity please contact the state administrator."




Sharing my "Find A Grave" memorial for my mother.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

RE: Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force -- Please Consider Voicing Your Concerns or Suggestions about Ohio's Endangered Cemeteries to Members of the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force

Thanking Mr. Todd Kleismit, Director of Community & Government Relations of the Ohio Historical Society, for the following information with regard to the public being able to voice their thoughts and concerns regarding Ohio's cemeteries, and the issues facing them, to the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force for their consideration.  


From Mr. Kleismit:

"It is my understanding that the Task Force is very interested in hearing from the public the next three meetings (Feb. 21, March 7 and April 4). If you or any of your blog followers want to express your opinions, this is your chance."

Todd Kleismit
Ohio Historical Society
Director of Community & Government Relations
  Anne M. Petit is a co-chair of the Ohio Cemetery Task Force:

Anne M. Petit
Ohio Department of Commerce
Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
Direct dial: 614-466-3411
Fax number: 614-644-0584
Office number: 614-466-4100



Mr. Cory Noonan is also a co-chair of the Ohio Cemetery Task Force: 

 Hon. Cory Noonan
Allen County Commissioner
Phone #:  419-234-0055
Please be courteous and respectful with your communications to members of the Ohio Cemetery Law Task Force.  

We should remember that when we speak it is also on behalf of those whose final resting places are in Ohio's endangered cemeteries and are no longer here to speak for themselves. We would want them to be proud of our efforts.

Thank you!  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Why We Keep Fighting on Behalf of Inactive and Abandoned Cemeteries in Ohio

Finding this 2001 rejection letter today inspires me to continue fighting on behalf of inactive and abandoned cemeteries in Ohio. 

The Ohio Revised Codes affecting cemeteries have not changed with regard to the stipulations affecting registration of complaints about a cemetery's deteriorated condition.  

The laws in Ohio, as stated in the Ohio Revised Codes, still require cemeteries to be active and registered in order for a complaint to be filed against them.  Cemeteries with no burials in the past twenty-five years, or a cemetery considered to be a family cemetery, are not eligible to be included in the complaint process, thus denying them the same protection afforded to active and registered cemeteries.  To me, it's like saying these old cemeteries just do not matter any more.  

Hopefully, one day soon in Ohio, the scales of justice will become balanced.  The laws will change to allow concerned people the ability to register complaints against those who are responsible for the care of inactive and abandoned cemeteries due to their failure to properly maintain them.

Until then, we'll keep fighting on behalf of those who can no longer speak for themselves whose final resting places are lost or almost forgotten.