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, May 31, 2015

Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio to be Discussed at City Council Meeting at 8:00p.m. on Monday, June 1st, 2015

This is a plea, particularly to those who live in or near Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio to please consider attending the Bluffton City Council Meeting on Monday, June 1st, 2015 at 8:00p.m. 

"Please attend and show your support. Let the mayor and council hear how the desecration of this cemetery must be made right!

The Bluffton Village Council meets the First and Third Monday of each month at 8:00 PM in the Community Room on the Third Floor of the Bluffton Town Hall, 154 N. Main Street."

Click HERE to read the agenda.

Click HERE to link to the Shannon Cemetery on "Find A Grave." 

What the Shannon Cemetery looks like today after existing gravestones were removed:
What the Shannon Cemetery looked like in February of 2012:
What the Shannon Cemetery looked like in November of 2010:
 What the Shannon Cemetery looked like in November of 2014:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ward Tunte Van Orman (1891 - 1978) - Find A Grave Memorial

“Ward Tunte Van Orman (born September 2, 1894 in Lorain, Ohio – died March 11, 1978) was an American engineer, inventor and balloonist. A lifelong employee of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company credited with invention of Goodyear’s inflatable life raft[2] and self-sealing fuel tank,[3] Van Orman set an unprecedented record of winning five annual National Balloon Races (including the first ever Litchfield Trophy issued by Goodyear’s Paul Litchfield in 1925), participating in ten and winning three International Gordon Bennett Races (1926, 1929, 1930)”
Lorain High School’s class of 1928 choose to feature the life and hot air balloon race adventures of one of their own:  Ward T. Van Orman  — who was a 1912 graduate of Lorain’s high school on the shores of Lake Erie "where the coal and iron meet."
Below are pages from the 1928 L.H.S. yearbook “The Scimitar”  that spotlight this enterprising Lorainite:



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Shannon Cemetery plans debated Bluffton cemetery neglected - LimaOhio.com - limaohio.com

Sharing this Lima (Allen County) Ohio newspaper story regarding the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Ohio where standing gravestones as well as unearthed grave markers were removed from the cemetery to be later placed in a large concrete base and put on display elsewhere on the property. 

The Shannon Cemetery no longer has any standing gravestones because of the actions of one man and his 'vision' for the cemetery to be turned into a 'cemetery - park.'  Civil War and Rev. War veterans are also buried at the Shannon Cemetery. 

****Click HERE to link to the "Save Shannon Cemetery Facebook Page****

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The Bluffton Village Council meets the First and Third Monday of each month at 8:00 PM in the Community Room on the Third Floor of the Bluffton Town Hall, 154 N. Main Street. Items for the meeting agenda should be submitted by 5:00 PM on the Thursday preceding the Council Meeting. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"Save Shannon Cemetery" on Facebook! -- Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio

Sharing a link to the "Save Shannon Cemetery Facebook Page"  -- Stop by and give it a "Like" and add your support! 

Battels, Caroline  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634823
b. 1810 d. Nov. 17, 1869

Berry, John  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634824
b. 1838 d. Mar. 28, 1853

Bryan, Wesley  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634825
b. 1818 d. Sep. 14, 1846

Clifford, A B  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634826
b. unknown d. unknown

Clifford, J H  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634827
b. unknown d. unknown

Clifford, M F  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634828
b. unknown d. unknown

Clifford, Rosann  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634829
b. 1818 d. Nov. 6, 1860

Clifford, S E  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634830
b. unknown d. unknown

Clifford, S M  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634831
b. unknown d. unknown

Collins, Lorena Cooper  -  FIND A GRAVE # 11704317
b. Feb. 5, 1906 d. Sep. 6, 2005

Connell, Mary  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634832
b. 1783 d. Aug. 31, 1838

Dearth, Daniel  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634833
b. unknown d. Jul. 17, 1831

Dearth, Nancy  -  FIND A GRAVE # 7596269
b. 1792 d. Mar. 8, 1850

DeFord, Joseph  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634834
b. unknown d. unknown -  Pvt 5 MD Reg Rev. War

Drumm, Emma Belle Clemings  -  FIND A GRAVE # 37369079
b. May 6, 1861 d. Jan. 17, 1913

Dunlap, Eli  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634835
b. 1850 d. Jul., 1878

Elder, Elizabeth Hoffman  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634836
b. 1808 d. Aug. 26, 1840

Ewing, Elizabeth Clemmens  -  FIND A GRAVE # 67882876
b. May 29, 1819 d. Feb. 7, 1859

Fenton, Delia  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634837
b. 1833 d. Feb. 12, 1867

Fenton, Robert  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634838
b. 1776 d. Jul. 6,

Fitzgerald, Martha  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634839
b. Jun. 4, 1797 d. Apr. 2, 1873

Gardner, S  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634840
b. unknown d. Jul. 22, 1864

Gaskill, John E  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634841
b. unknown d. Feb. 9

Gaskill, Katharine  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634842
b. 1805 d. Nov. 3, 1845

Gaskill, Minerva  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634843
b. 1836 d. Jun. 9, 1850

Gaskill, Moses  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634844
b. 1839 d. Feb. 23, 1851

Goble, Daniel C  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634846
b. Sep. 17, 1783 d. Oct. 7, 1846

Gutman, Jacob  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634849
b. 1828 d. 1858

Hipsher, Samuel  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634850
b. unknown d. unknown

Hipsher, William  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634852
b. unknown d. unknown - Co. "G " 21st Ohio Inf

Huber, Barbara  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634854
b. 1793 d. Feb. 7, 1870

Huber, Jacob L.  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634855
b. 1789 d. Oct. 16, 1845

Huber, Mary E  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634856
b. unknown d. unknown

Iden, Rosanna Clemings  -  FIND A GRAVE # 41328376
b. 1827 d. 1902

Long, Rachel A  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634858
b. Oct. 18, 1855 d. Dec. 9, 1855

Long, William  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634859
b. Oct. 30, 1858 d. Dec. 27, 1860

McHenry, Eliza  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634860
b. 1843 d. Jul. 7, 1848

Murray, George W  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634861
b. 1824 d. Dec. 13, 1832

Owens, Infant  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634862
b. unknown d. May 8, 1870

Owens, James K  -  FIND A GRAVE # 25634863
b. 1847 d. May 21, 1861

Owens, Martha J  -  FIND A GRAVE #  25634864
b. 1841 d. Nov. 18, 1851

Stratton, Daniel  -  FIND A GRAVE #  25634866
b. 1831 d. Mar. 11, 1857

Stratton, J  -  FIND A GRAVE #  25634867
b. 1798 d. Dec. 5, 1869

Wilson, Montgomery  -  FIND A GRAVE #  25634868
b. Jan. 11, 1856 d. Sep. 17, 1856

Wilson, Susan  -  FIND A GRAVE #  25634869
b. Feb. 12, 1849 d. Aug. 28, 1854

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Clifford Limes (1934 - 1936) - Find A Grave Memorial

Sharing the Find A Grave memorial for Clifford Limes.  I had submitted a photo request for his gravestone photo and a kind Find A Grave volunteer just fulfilled it.  

It is a humble marker, but it is good to see that he has one.

May is National Historic Preservation Month -- And That Includes Cemeteries!

Sharing these photographs to remind us that May is National Historic Preservation Month!

Please encourage your county genealogical and historical societies in Ohio to include cemeteries as a focus for their meetings and activities!  

Whether it be touring cemeteries, holding ghost walks, or offering hands-on cemetery / gravestone preservation workshops, cemeteries are places for the living.  Places for honoring those who came before us and keeping their gravesites in respectable condition without damaging them -- ensuring that any cleaning, repairing and re-setting of gravestones is done using DO NO HARM best practices.  That means opting for the least abrasive / aggressive methods and tools as possible (think NO POWER TOOLS!); assessing first if any work is deemed to be needed at all.  

Also, remember that a historic cemetery should stay a historic cemetery -- keeping the gravestones in place on their original gravesites. Unfortunately, good intentions can go overboard and turn a cemetery into something it isn't. A cemetery should not have to lose its character and identity to be in good condition.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Some of Greenfield's McClain High School Students Spent Today Working at the Old Burying Ground

Some students from Greenfield's McClain High School spent part of the day helping out at the town's historic Old Burying Ground cemetery where ongoing preservation efforts have been conducted for the past year.  They joined some of the volunteers of the Greenfield Historical Society -- and clicking on the title here links to the photographs posted by them.

Below are a couple of photographs taken today shared by Scott Andersen:

A photo taken after the same gravestone for Martha A. Crothers (2nd wife of Rev. Samuel W. Crothers) was raised up.  It is now ready for repair and proper re-installation at the gravesite. 
& Perhaps two future gravestone conservators?

Sharing a Link to "Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot" Blog Post about the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio

Click HERE to read the extensive current post on the blog "Jenealogy" about the events unfolding at the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio entitled: 

“Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot”

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Virginia Harriet Zagorsky Limes (1914 - 1995) - Find A Grave Memorial

"Before" and "After" Comparison Photos of the Dorothy Eleanor Provoznik Gravestone - Calvary Cemetery, Lorain, Ohio

The top photograph of the Dorothy Eleanor Provoznik gravestone, that is 95 years old this year, at the Calvary Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio was taken on May 28, 2007 after it was cleaned with only plain water.  

As can be seen, there was a white streak across the front side of the gravestone most likely made by a weed whacker that remained even after cleaning with a soft bristle brush.  This stone is quite porous.  It is almost like a concrete block. 
 The second photograph below was taken May 9, 2015 not long after water and  D/2 Biological Solution was applied to it.   The stone was scrubbed with a soft bristle plastic brush.  

It was so amazing to watch as brown and green 'gunky' liquid just "oozed out" of the gravestone and came to the top surface rather quickly.  

It is important to note that there are steel mills in the area and much pollution is in the air, unfortunately. 

The gravestone was rinsed down well with water afterward.  In a few minutes the stone began to dry and it looked as seen now. 

This stone will be checked again this summer to see how it is doing!     
  May 28, 2007 after being washed with water and a soft bristle plastic brush
  May 9, 2015 after being cleaned with water and  D/2 Biological Solution and rinsed with plain water

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Shannon Cemetery - Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio -- Cemetery Preservation Overdone

The story of the progress of this project to "restore" the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Ohio, is a plan that began as one that seemed to have the best of intentions, later becoming one that had gone completely overboard to the point that anything but proper restoration would be in its future; if it isn't too late already to save any of it. 

This project has moved to the point of removing sitting gravestones from their original locations and grouping them together in a concrete slab to create a "historic headstone display." In doing so, the gravestones are no longer over the intended gravesites which leaves even more graves to become unmarked than what was at the Shannon Cemetery previously.

A cemetery is not a 'theme park' -- it is a sacred burial ground. That truth is lost in the advanced planning of this project.

  It is disrespectful to turn a cemetery into something it never was, nor was meant to be. 

It is normally acceptable to conduct cemetery preservation projects for reasons to document burials; and/or to clean, repair, and re-set gravestones, but to purposely remove gravestones from their original gravesites in order to group them together and place them side-by-side in a slab of concrete is to artificially create a manufactured display.  Stating it is done in the name of history is still stripping this cemetery of its original design and character.  

Future generations are thus robbed of the opportunity to see the Shannon Cemetery as it originally was laid out.  

Sadly, such drastic unnecessary changes forever alter the cemetery's entire landscape. Those who rest in peace at Bluffton's Shannon Cemetery would no longer recognize their own burial ground, and neither would those generations that came after them.   


Shannon Cemetery - Bluffton News - February 22, 2012:

"The intention is to restore the cemetery in the proper way, and this is where a lot of research has kicked in. An immediate priority became discovering who all is buried there."

Shannon Cemetery - Bluffton Icon - August 21, 2014:

"Boehr said that there are plans for a concrete slab to be used for relocating all the stones, a parking area, a gazebo to shelter persons visiting the park, a plaque that will list all known who rest there and some landscaping."

 Shannon Cemetery - Bluffton Icon - April 21, 2015 :

“Headed by Dick Boehr, the cemetery project aims to renovate the long-neglected cemetery along Jefferson Street at Riley Creek. The main feature of this park is the historic headstone display,” she said."