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."

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Side-by-Side Photo Comparisons Help Tell the Story of How Cleaning Methods Work on Gravestones

Thanks to a neat free website called quickpicturetools I am having a great time with formatting and saving my before and after cleaning photographs of various gravestones that I have been collecting.  

If you are anything like me, you don't have a lot of software on your computer, so a free website that actually works can really help where you can try your hand at producing side-by-side photographs and adding in some text with them.  It takes a bit of experimenting and practicing with the program, but a person can get the hang of it in a short period of time and save their creations directly to their computer, flash drive, cloud, etc. 

Below are a couple of photographs of the same monument taken about 19 years apart.

 They are of the Jeremiah and Sigariah Simmons Duvall monument at the Forest Cemetery in Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio. 

The photograph on the left illustrates what the monument looked like before I had done any cleaning at all to it.  I'm sure it was my first visit to the cemetery to see it. 

The photograph on the right was taken July 16, 2015 after using D/2 Biological Solution to clean the whole monument.

There had been some water and brushing sessions on the monument over the years, however, water alone does not stop biological regrowth.  So, improvement on the monument was only marginal. 

I am hoping the Duvall monument will look as good or perhaps even better when I return to visit it next year than it did right after its 2015 cleaning. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sharing New "Before and After" Cleaning Photographs of a Small Row of Grave Markers at the Old Burying Ground, Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio

Thanking Scott Andersen who shares these new "Before and After Cleaning" photographs of white marble markers set in slotted bases at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio

The gravestones are for the following (left to right):

From Scott - September 23, 2015:
"Another "D/2" testimonial.
These headstones were cleaned by Geneva Weaver, her sister Phyllis, and Jacquelyn Doles just over a month ago. 
They are starting to lighten up!"
Be sure to check out the calendar on the website of the Greenfield Historical Society for information about upcoming work sessions conducted by volunteers working in this their second year. 

The Old Burying Ground is Greenfield's oldest cemetery where many of its earliest pioneers were laid to rest.  Original headstones mark their graves.  Most have long needed extensive cleaning, repairing, and re-setting.  

The results are strikingly clear.

 This all-volunteer group of historical society members and concerned folks who want to join them are getting the job done one grave marker at a time; making great strides by advancing row by row. Their organized planning and caring hands approach have truly transformed this once neglected and deteriorated cemetery that has silently sat on the Paint Creek's western edge for well over two hundred years.    

Monday, September 21, 2015

Reminder: Upcoming Hands-On Cemetery Preservation Workshop - Old Ripley Cemetery, Ripley, Brown County, Ohio - Saturday, September 26, 2015 - with Gravestone Conservator, Misti Spillman

 Misti Spillman's workshop at the Old Ripley Cemetery coming up on Saturday, September 26th: 
"There are still spots available for the workshop. We will be working in Old Ripley Cemetery. If anyone has any questions please contact me via email or message me through facebook. 

My email is spillman.4@wright.edu"

Old Ripley Cemetery on Find A Grave

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Reminder: Cemetery Work Session - Saturday, September 19, 2015 - Old Burying Ground - Greenfield, Ohio Beginning at 8:00a.m.

The Greenfield Historical Society in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio will again be holding a volunteer hands-on work session! 

 It will be this Saturday, September 19th, starting at 8:00a.m. at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield

Regarding the box tombs: 

From Scott Andersen: 

"The one on the left belongs to Mary Robbins; in the center - belongs to Jared Irwin. The last tomb, the end plaque is just destroyed."
Photographs courtesy of Scott Andersen:

CLICK HERE to check out more awesome photographs that the Greenfield Historical Society shared from the preparatory work session conducted on September 15, 2015.

William Wallace Raabe (1928 - 2009) - Find A Grave Memorial

Upkeep of Galena Cemetery to be decided by judge

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Found on Facebook: The Videos and News Stories about the Florida Carpet Cleaner Turned Sunday Gravestone Cleaner / My Questions - What is the blue liquid in the spray bottle? What is "Purple Magic" and Should It be Used to Clean Gravestones?

If you are a regular Facebook user then there is a good likelihood that during the past week you have seen others share links to the stories (original and follow up) about the Florida carpet cleaner who works six days a week and on his day off he turns his attention to cleaning veterans' gravestones at his local cemeteries.  Perhaps you have shared the stories yourself as well.  

In the videos, we watch this quiet-spoken man carrying buckets, a plastic brush, and a big plastic container full of water that he takes from the back of his company truck.  He carries it all to a veteran's gravesite.  We watch as he starts his cleaning process of spraying, scrubbing and rinsing the marker.  He explains his reasons for doing this type of work and what motivates him.   He tells us why it is important for him to spend his day off cleaning veterans' gravestones.  

Apparently, judging from the unexpected huge response and comments, the readers are decidedly supportive of his efforts and his kind and caring concern for keeping the veterans' gravestones looking clean and presentable.  It is natural the readers and viewers want to learn more and follow in his footsteps.   

Unfortunately, however, those folks making comments about the story that include instructional type remarks and share links to resources that focus on the importance of always using proper products and practices, are often met with responses that they are not supportive of him and his work and thus are only making "preachy" type comments that  'blast' him, etc. 

Truth and Reality can be spoilers and unwelcome visitors that dampen the spirits and resolve of those trying to stay on a path that leads them to ignore their existence.  Yet, it is wise to acknowledge and learn from them. 

Those who have been involved one way or another with cemetery preservation and gravestone conservation know that it is certainly not a new or novel endeavor to be cleaning gravestones; some have made it their profession. 

Throughout America's communities; both large and small, there are literally countless individuals, mostly volunteers working either alone or in organized groups; trekking to cemeteries with their buckets, spray bottles of cleaners, large water bottles, soft bristle brushes, wood and plastic scrapers, and with plenty of personal elbow grease - who tirelessly donate their time cleaning gravestones.   If there is a newspaper story written about their work it is generally local in nature with a readership that rarely reaches beyond the county borders. 

But, for some odd reason, this one news story has caught our national attention, and it has propelled this one man into the global spotlight.  It is being said that these videos "have gone viral" which means the whole world is watching!    

Maybe it was his mention that his work just might be the next "ice bucket challenge" that has sparked a desire in others to follow his lead, I don't know, but it has happened nonetheless.
In the videos we see him using a spray bottle containing lighter blue color liquid.  I have watched videos of people cleaning gravestones and have never seen a blue color solution in their bottles.  I think others noticed it too in the first video. 

 Thus, it is important to learn what is the liquid in the spray bottle.  

In the follow up video, we learn from the carpet cleaner that he used "Purple Magic" which is purple, and D/2 Biological Solution which is clear.  Did he perhaps mix them together?  Did he use them independently of each other?  Were they diluted? 

So, we learned that the carpet cleaner uses "D2"  (we see a big picture of the product's logo) followed by his mention of  "Purple Magic"and a picture of a large and small bottle of the product with the purple liquid.  

   "Purple Magic" is not a product that I have ever heard being mentioned as approved for use on gravestones by the Association for Gravestone Studies or the NCPTT of the National Park Service which are two well-respected national organizations that have been holding hands-on cemetery preservation workshops for a number of years. 
Only time will tell if thousands or more people will follow in the footsteps of this man who cleaned the small veteran grave marker shown in these videos or not.  But for those who do, we sincerely hope that they use a soft bristle brush and water (distilled water has been recommended.)  Possibly next, if needed, a product such as D/2 Biological Solution after using water alone or Orvus Soap which is an approved product.   
While, important details remain to be learned about the blue and purple liquids, this carpet cleaner's dedication and efforts are to be applauded; and hope that he can continue with his labor of  love, that he shared with us, for many years to come.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Update on the Status of Saving Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio

First, The "Shannon Cemetery Commission" of the Village of Bluffton Government IS NOT to be confused with "Save Shannon Cemetery Committee" which is an organized group of concerned descendants of those buried at the Shannon Cemetery, and others who also are working with them to ensure that the burial grounds be returned to its original condition as a recognizable cemetery with gravestones; including the return of purposely removed gravestones from their respective gravesites.  Please keep that in mind when reading the letter below.  

My assessment is that the Village of Bluffton is not itself committed to returning the Shannon Cemetery to being a cemetery -- with wording that purposely makes that "Concept Choice" appear to be the least attractive and listed as the last one on the four concept choices offered by the Village of Bluffton.  
***Thus, I am appealing to those to whom this survey shown below is directed:

• American Legion Post
• Bluffton Lions Club
• Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce members
• Bluffton Area Ministerial Association

Please consider your choices carefully when you mark them on the survey.  The results will reach beyond the Village of Bluffton in the State of Ohio as the final outcome can be cited as a precedent for deciding the future of cemeteries faced with similar situations as those of the Shannon Cemetery. 

Consider also how you would feel right now if one of your ancestors was buried at the Shannon Cemetery -- what choices do you think they would wish you to make on their behalf?:


A partial view below of what the Shannon Cemetery looked like before remaining standing gravestones were removed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Martha J. DePoy Krider (1847 - 1921) - Find A Grave Memorial

Sharing Find A Grave Memorial for Martha J. DePoy Limes Krider Smith

Sharing a Link to Sign Up for Email Newsletters from "D/2 Biological Solution"

     "We already cleaned-up the Washington Monument.
Soon we will be cleaning the Walls of Old San Juan.
      Now help us clean-up our Constant Contact email list.
     Please follow this link and add yourself to our email database: 

The newsletter will come out 6 - 8 times a year."
"Preserve America
Presidential Executive Order 13287 -
D/2 Biological Solution"

Executive Order 13287, Preserve America FY 2011 Triennial 
Report Department of Veteran Affairs.  
For full report click on the link below.

Page 3  The National Cemetery Administration recommends 
"The NCA entered into an agreement with the 
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, 
NPS,  to evaluate  marble cleaners in an effort to minimize 
damage to historic headstones. 
The 3-phase study began in  2004 and was completed  in  2011.   
The best-practice recommendations resulted in NCA's  determination to use  the preferred cleaner, D/2 Biological Solution"
Ted Kinnari,  Owner,  
D/2 Biological Solution -  917 693 7441