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."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Announcements of Upcoming Cemetery Preservation Workshops

Look for announcements of upcoming cemetery preservation and gravestone conservation workshops posted on the left side bar on the blog.  

Listed chronologically, so you can mark your calendars accordingly.  

Currently, two are scheduled for September, 2015:   

Sunday, June 21, 2015

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

Sharing my "Find A Grave" memorial for my father, Harry Limes.  

Sharing a Father's Day Message for Those Whose Father has Passed Away

Click HERE to read a heartfelt story published today in honor of Father's Day on "Cleveland.com":

"Tending our father's graves: Renee Barber"


The story is listed as being one that is an opinion.

However, I personally feel it goes beyond being only one person's personal opinion. 

The sentiments speak to the purpose of this day that is set aside to honor Fathers.  The honoring extends to remembering fathers who are no longer with us.  That day comes to most of us eventually.  

Because our father is no longer with us does not mean we no longer remember him, or reflect on his life and our memories of him.  

When we visit his gravesite - his final resting place - we go to be physically by where he was buried.  

Tending to his gravesite and gravestone would be thought of as taking extra steps in the minds of many; but for others it is a natural part of the activities that go along with remembering and reflecting upon someone as special as a father.  He was loved and well respected in life and those cherished feelings are continued and held dear by children and families who are left behind. 

A well-kept gravesite is a true testimony of an outward as well as inward way that children lovingly remember and care; and they want dad to know they do.  


Monday, June 15, 2015

Scott and Venus Andersen Discover Missing Gravestone Pieces for Thomas and Ruth Coffey at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio on June 13, 2015

Sharing this amazing abstracted account and accompanying photographs from Scott Andersen:
"We had an interesting day at the Old Burying Ground.  There are numerous piles of forlorn lost stones around the cemetery. In one near the front of the yard Venus noticed a stone that looked like it might be a missing part to one of the headstones in the area we've been working. See photo.

Turns out she was right. Without much difficulty we found parts to four different monuments in the pile.  This pile is a long way away from the places that these different monuments are in the graveyard. There's still a lot of bits and pieces in the pile. Hopefully we can figure out where more of them belong.

The headstone in the photo belongs to Ruth Coffey. You can see that it is broken into four pieces. The second piece down was in the pile. We've been searching for it for almost a year now. I'd say the pile is at least 150 yards away from the grave site.

Another piece from the pile is the end of a bedstead type memorial, which is in the very back of the cemetery. It's in the third photo.

We also found the missing piece of Thomas Coffey's headstone in the pile.  

So, it was an amazing day. 

Venus has a sixth sense maybe?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reporting on the Butcher Cemetery, North Lewisburg, Champaign County, Ohio & Thanking Mr. Jim Blanton!

I visited the Butcher Cemetery on Tallman Street in North Lewisburg on June 5 and June 7, 2015 to visit ancestral gravesites and take note of any changes - both good and bad - with the condition of the cemetery's grounds and gravestones, including those for the family of Aaron and Adaline D. (Limes) Winder which include their daughter, Phebe Annie Winder Sherrett and their granddaughter, Birddie B. Sherrett. 
The first change I noted was that the Butcher Cemetery's wood sign had been repainted and the lettering was either repainted or replaced.  Last year the entire sign was painted white including the lettering as it had been the year before that.  I also noted two small potted plants sitting on the ground by the sign's two posts that contained flowers and flags.  It was a welcomed sight!  
Good News!  Today I learned that Mr. Jim Blanton, who places flags at the gravesites of the Civil War soldiers buried at the Butcher Cemetery, was the kind and generous person who freshly painted the sign and purchased new letters for it!

From Mr. Blanton:
I stripped the sign to wood and put primer on it and painted it 4 times.  I bought new letters also." 

Thank you Mr. Blanton!
The grounds of the property were in a similar condition as last year; i.e., the grass was evidently more recently cut in the front of the property, however, from the Dr. Butcher monument to the back of the cemetery -- where actual grass is almost non-existent -- the weeds were tall enough to indicate that not much had been done to lower or remove them this year. 

Mr. Blanton also shared the following information:

"I hauled away a truck load of wood from the center inside the fence but did not get back to weed eat it.  Will do so soon.  I have another truck load of sticks and branches to take out of there." 

Thank you Mr. Blanton! 

I also noticed something else too -- the house and property next door to the Butcher Cemetery, 88 Tallman Street, IS FOR SALE! 

From the Realtor's description:

"Unique opportunity to own your own nature reserve! Well cared for 2 bedroom, 1 ½ bath ranch features outbuildings, 2 fenced pastures and with 2nd parcel the land totals almost 15 acres! Furnace, a/c, roof, chimney and fireplace have been updated since 2007. Basement was done by the basement doctor. The knotty pine room could easily be converted to a 3rd bedroom. Huge mudroom with shower. 2nd parcel is in wetland preserve. For more information, please contact 
The Virginia Elliott Team at (937) 642-7171!"
The fact that the Butcher Cemetery is right next door was not something that was mentioned in the realtor's advertisement, however, I feel it should have been!  So, I'm taking the liberty here to share that fact. 
So, if you or someone you know would like to live next door to an early Ohio pioneer cemetery where two doctors and five Civil War veterans rest in peace, 88 Tallman Street might be a good choice!  
I hope you enjoy the random photographs taken on June 5 and June 7, 2015 of the Butcher Cemetery on Tallman Street in North Lewisburg, Ohio:
Butcher Cemetery Sign
Newly re-painted and new lettering 
courtesy of Mr. Jim Blanton.

A view of looking up the hill past the cemetery sign and the fenced in area at the front of the Butcher Cemetery. 

The fencing seen on the left side belongs to 88 Tallman Street; the property that is for sale. 

The tablet in slotted base in the foreground is for Mary E. Good
 and the small white marble broken stone is for Dr. Butcher's son,
Captain James M. S. Butcher, a Civil War Veteran.  

The photo below shows 3 small gravestones for other Butcher family members.  
(Six Photos Above)
 Areas in the rear of the Butcher Cemetery where recently downed limbs and branches lie needing to be picked up and removed.
The almost sunken out of sight military grave marker for "C.E." Charles E. Evans

Photograph of an unreadable child's marker.

Photo of what appears to be a foot stone for "Charles"
among other stones at the base of a tree surrounded by encroaching weeds in the rear of the Butcher Cemetery.

Five photos below are of gravestones and the monument
 for the family of Aaron and Adaline D. Limes Winder.

The large Winder monument was cleaned with D/2 Biological Solution and rinsed with water.  

Photographs show before and after views (June 5th and June 7th) following cleaning.   

Two photos below:
Views of the Adaline D. Winder side of the Winder monument.  
Photos taken on June 7, 2015 following cleaning on June 5, 2015. 

 Below are three photographs showing the slant marker on base of Phebe Annie Winder Sherrett who was the daughter of Aaron and Adaline D. (Limes) Winder.  

Phebe Annie was the first wife of Eli Sherrett, who was North Lewisburg's mayor at the time of her death.

The small footstone is in front of her marker.  
It had been mostly covered in tall weeds and unfortunately has weed whacker marks on the front of it.

I was able to clear away some of the overgrowth of weeds that were obscuring the little gray footstone that has P.A.S. inscribed on it for Phebe Annie Sherrett.
There are no trash receptacles at the Butcher Cemetery. 

There is no water pump at the Butcher Cemetery. 

You have to supply your own water to clean gravestones.
  A view of a portion of the adjoining property to the Butcher Cemetery. 

Two photographs of the deteriorated fenced in area at the front of the Butcher Cemetery.
Only two gravesites can be seen in the fenced in area; those for:

The area behind the Winder gravestones and monument where there is overgrowth of weeds around the markers. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Spotlighting the June 6th, 2015 Old Burying Ground Workshop In Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio

View  HERE  the remarkable photographs posted on Greenfield Historical Society's website from the June 6, 2015 Old Burying Ground preservation workshop.  This marks the second year that historical society volunteers and others who also came to help have been working to clean, repair, and re-set the various types of gravestones at the village's pioneer cemetery.

View HERE the "Find A Grave" Memorial for Margaret Caldwell buried at the Old Burying Ground.  Her box tomb had been broken and in six pieces.  It was re-assembled during the course of the workshop.  

View the three photographs posted that show how the box tomb looked in March of 2015 before any restoration work had begun; and the two photographs posted on  June 7, 2015 that show what it looks like now following the restoration work.  Truly an amazing transformation!


All who have participated in these workshops deserve a sincere congratulations for their hard work and accomplishments!  

The proof is in the photographs!  

Photograph by Scott Andersen -- a view of the box tomb and surrounding gravestones that 
have recently been cleaned, repaired and in some cases re-set.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Baselines and Meridians in the Virginia Military District | 2013-06-05 | Point of Beginning

Baselines and Meridians in the Virginia Military District | 2013-06-05 | Point of Beginning

Watching for News on Ohio House Bill 91 -- Continuing Levy for Cemeteries



As Introduced
131st General Assembly
Regular Session H. B. No. 91
Representative Green
Cosponsors: Representatives Brenner, Boose, Anielski, Perales, Sheehy,

"To amend section 5705.19 of the Revised Code to
lengthen the maximum term of a property tax
levied for the purpose of operating a cemetery."


From my State Representative's Office - June 3, 2015:

"The bill is still pending in the House Ways and Means Committee. 

To my knowledge, there has not been any changes to the language of the bill. 

The legislation is also still being considered as an amendment to the budget so it is being considered in two ways, giving it an even better shot!"

"Officials can’t step in to solve Lodi cemetery’s money woes until board disbands" -- from the "Medina-Gazette" - June 3, 2015

Click on the blog post title above to read the news article about the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lodi, Medina County, Ohio regarding its current financial and ownership issues impacting the future of the cemetery.

Click HERE to link to the Woodlawn Cemetery on "Find A Grave" where 3,566 interments are listed for it.  

Woodlawn Cemetery is an active cemetery; however, currently not registered with the Ohio Department of Real Estate.  
Presently, there are five outstanding gravestone photo requests for the Woodlawn Cemetery on "Find A Grave." 


"This cemetery is not currently registered with the Division.  Therefore, we cannot take a complaint at this time.  We are working with this cemetery to help bring them into compliance with the registration requirements."

Laura A. Monick
Registration and Resolution Section Chief
Ohio Department of Commerce
Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing 77 South High Street, 20th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215