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."

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Straightening Up the Stones During History Day 2014 at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Ohio

On Saturday, October 4, 2014, the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio was the site of hands-on demonstrations that illustrated how some types of gravestone restoration are done.  That resulted in 12 gravestones being raised and straightened upright.  Some stones had been leaning, while others were knocked down, or partially sunken out of sight.  

The before and after photographs below are courtesy of Scott Andersen, who along with fellow Greenfield Historical Society member John King, did the needed digging work to complete the process for each gravestone.  

One gravestone that was lifted up out of its sinking condition belongs to Civil War veteran Martin Countryman.  It was so gratifying to learn of their success in rising this veteran gravestone back up to its proper position of respectability where it belonged.  
 Click HERE for more photographs from this work completed on October 4, 2014 as posted on the Greenfield Historical Society website.
Thanking Scott also for sharing photographs of  badly damaged above ground vaults belonging to some local Irwin family members which are also posted below.  

One of the vaults holds the final remains for Henry W. Irwin, who along with all of his four wives -- including his fourth wife Lavina/Lavinia Rogers Jackson Irwin  -- were buried at the Old Burying Ground.  Her mother was Priscilla Beals Rogers who was buried at the nearby Sheep Pen Cemetery. 

Henry W. Irwin and Lavina/Lavinia Irwin were the parents of one of Greenfield's most well known military heroes -  Admiral Noble Edward Irwin

Before photograph: Shows how the leaning gravestones and one that is lying flat on the ground looked before Scott Andersen and John King started their work.
After photograph: Shows how the same gravestones seen above look after they were repaired and straightened up.
The partially sunken Martin Countryman gravestone as it appeared prior to being dug up and re-set at the proper height.  It has a large stone base attached to it.
Photographs showing badly damaged above ground vaults.  
The middle vault is thought to belong to Henry W. Irwin.
Three deteriorating burial vaults. 
The small stone in front is for Eleanor Irwin, wife of Jared.  

Close up view of the front of the vault that may belong to Henry W. Irwin
Close up view of another badly damaged vault.