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, 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."