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, 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.

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.