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, April 30, 2016

Spotlighting Jonathan Appell -- Gravestone Conservation and Preservation



Jonathan Appell has several cemetery preservation workshops scheduled for 2016 in western states.  

As he will be traveling through Ohio, he has some availabilty of time to hold a workshop in Ohio.  

If an organization wishes to schedule a hands-on cemetery preservation workshop conducted by Jonathan Appell, please contact him directly. 

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sharing a link to the video of William G. Krejci's presentation of: "Buried Beneath Cleveland - Lost Cemeteries of Cuyahoga County”

Recorded on April 11, 2016 by Avon Lake Community Television at the Avon Lake Public Library and hosted by Heritage Avon Lake:



"He reveals the stories and locations of over 50 displaced cemeteries in the Greater Cleveland Area."
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"The dead do not always rest in peace. Occasionally, they wind up in the backyard. As towns grew in Cuyahoga County during the late 1800s, many of its cemeteries were relocated to make room for urban sprawl. But not all of these graves made the journey. 

Author William G. Krejci tracks down more than fifty displaced cemeteries throughout the Greater Cleveland area. Discover the Revolutionary War veterans, famous scientists and illustrious dignitaries found beneath gas stations and grocery stores in this eerie history of Cuyahoga County’s forgotten dead."
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Mystery Shrouds Deserted, Neglected Youngstown Cemetery" -- Spotlighting the Tod Homestead Cemetery

The Tod Homestead Cemetery in Youngstown, Ohio has a history unlike most cemeteries. 

The story of those buried in the Potter's Field portion of the Tod Homestead Cemetery unfolds in detail in this "Youngstown Vindicator" news report:  


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Below is an almost full 28 page listing of names of individuals buried in an overlooked Potter's Field within Tod Cemetery:



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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Still Saving Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Ohio Despite Any Setbacks!

Despite the setbacks faced by the "Friends of Shannon Cemetery Committee" throughout their protracted fight to have gravestones returned to their rightful gravesites, this steadfast group of descendants, concerned residents, and many other people and groups who have worked together for this cause, have accomplished important progress to save their small pioneer cemetery in Bluffton, Ohio. 

They are making a progress that others can learn from as well.  The steps they have taken serve to inspire those with cemeteries of concern of their own that face the same or similar issues where too much history has already been lost, and they recognize that what is left needs to be saved and preserved.   


The latest news report from "The Courier" in Findlay regarding the Shannon Cemetery lists the recommendations for its future. They are clear and concise.  Now, the Village of Bluffton needs to work as a partner with the "Friends of Shannon Cemetery" to see that they are properly implemented to ensure that the Shannon Cemetery stays a cemetery. 

The "Friends of Shannon Cemetery" have come a long way to save their beloved burial ground from being turned into a "cemetery park" where no gravestones would stand over their proper gravesites.  It doesn't have to end that way!
  







Sunday, April 17, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Reminder: "Buried Beneath Cleveland: Lost Cemeteries in Cuyahoga County" Presentation by the Book's Author, William G. Krejci - Lakewood Public Library, Thursday, April 21st, 2016 at 7:00pm.

If you missed attending the presentation by William G. Krejci at the Avon Lake Public Library this past week, you will have another chance coming up to attend one next week at the Lakewood Public Library. 
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"The dead do not always rest in peace. Occasionally, they wind up in the backyard. As towns grew in Cuyahoga County during the late 1800s, many of its cemeteries were relocated to make room for urban sprawl. But not all of these graves made the journey. 

Author William G. Krejci tracks down more than fifty displaced cemeteries throughout the Greater Cleveland area. 

Discover the Revolutionary War veterans, famous scientists and illustrious dignitaries found beneath gas stations and grocery stores in this eerie history of Cuyahoga County's forgotten dead."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Upcoming Free Class at the Ohio Genealogical Society - April 15, 2016 at 10:00a.m. presented by OGS Library Director, Tom Neel - Join Tom for a "Visit to the Cemetery"



Sharing from Tom Neel of the Ohio Genealogical Society:

"The Ohio Genealogical Society, 611 State Route 97 W, Bellville, will offer a free class on Friday, April 15th, at 10:00 AM. Library

Director Tom Neel will lead a “Visit to the Cemetery” [in the library]. 

Students will learn how to record tombstones, study grave styles and symbolism, and explore preservation methods. 

Pre-registration is suggested by calling the library (419-886-1903) or emailing (tneel@ogs.org).

Classes generally run 1 ½ to 2 hours. The library has no admittance fee for those attending the class. 

They can stay the rest of the day to research in the library if they wish.

We are at Exit 165 on I-71 – a quarter mile past Der Dutchman restaurant."


Tom Neel, OGS Library Director


Sunday, April 10, 2016

"Buried Beneath Cleveland - Lost Cemeteries of Cuyahoga County" by William G. Krejci


Sharing announcements for two presentations coming up soon by author, Mr. William G. Krejci, about his book:   
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Cemetery Workshop "101" - Learn Before You Pay - What to Watch Out For if You Go - Because Gravestone Cleaning Methods Matter!

This April, in Ohio, the weather is playing catch up with the date on the calendar, but soon when Spring is in full bloom and shortly afterward when we move on to early Summer, we will be reading announcements of hands-on cemetery workshops to be held in Ohio and in nearby states.  

Notice I didn't say what kind of cemetery workshops.  They could be billed as cemetery conservation, cemetery preservation, or cemetery restoration

Personally, I feel that the name chosen for a workshop doesn't matter nearly as much as what the practices are that will be taught by the instructor when the day of the workshop arrives.

Many of the readers of this blog will remember from past posts the main guidelines of what the harmful practices are that some professionals have used and promoted in their workshops, and sadly, going further with their more extensive full cemetery cleaning, re-setting, and repair work. 

As a reminder, most professionals, (i.e. those who operate at a professional level and conduct gravestone clean/re-set/repair work for a part-time or full-time occupation), have themselves undergone some initial training somewhere.  Some have attended classes with well known and highly respected organizations for their training -- and list those establishments to help bolster their resume in their brochures.  That should mean that they demonstrate and promote the practices that they learned.   

However, unfortunately, prior training does not necessarily translate into a guarantee that a professional will adhere to all of the “Best Practices of Do No Harm” principles that they were taught at those workshops where they got started on their learning.  They could be choosing easier and speedier shortcuts that are not at all approved or appropriate for gravestones.

For this post, we'll do a review of the Approved Do No Harm Cleaning Practices vs. the Unapproved and Harmful cleaning practices.
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The below chart is a Best Practices cleaning guide that offers help. Click on and enlarge size. 



A good way to determine if you should attend a certain workshop is to "ask before you go and learn before you pay" by contacting the person promoting the workshop. 

Because gravestone cleaning methods matter - ask the contact person specific questions to be sure only Do No Harm Practices will be taught; which definitely means No Nyalox bristle brushes on power drills or other aggressive/abrasive methods and tools!  
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Sharing a statement by:


Nathan A. Bevil - Community Planning & Preservation Manager
Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society):

"I have also worked with some cemeteries in the past, including those that have had some restoration work.  Most of the stones used, especially in older cemeteries, are extremely soft due to stone type and exposure to acid rain and nature in general.

Any abrasive method of cleaning is discouraged, much less using power tools.  Even power washing is discouraged, as this can deeply groove sandstone and marble.  Any cleaning of a gravestone must be taken with careful consideration.  I have seen enough stones that have deteriorated to the point that I would not even use a simple bristle brush.  Always conduct thorough research on the materials before undertaking a specific action, and feel free to contact our office for additional information.

In any case, power washing and power tools are always discouraged and can have disastrous results for historic gravestones.

If you have some specific cases you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact me
(nbevil@ohiohistory.org or at 614-298-2000).  I hope this information helps."

Nathan A. Bevil | Community Planning & Preservation Manager
Ohio History Connection | 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211

Friday, April 8, 2016

Upcoming Allen County Genealogical Society Meeting of Pre-Recorded Cemetery Preservation Workshop -- April 17th, at 2:00p.m. - at the Folsum Auditorium in the Allen County Museum, 650 W. Market St., Lima, Ohio

Sharing from the Allen County Chapter of OGS, upcoming for April 17th, 2p.m. chapter meeting open to the public -- pre-recorded presentation of Misti Spillman and her 2015 OGS cemetery preservation workshop.

"You know us genealogists and family historians, we love cemeteries! and our next ACGS meeting will fill the bill!

On April 17th at 2pm the Allen County Genealogical Society presents:
OGS Cemetery Restoration & Preservation Workshop

The Cuyahoga Valley Genealogical Society in collaboration with OGS and Misti Spillman has released a DVD presentation on Cemetery Restoration and Preservation. Misti Spillman, cemetery preservationist, demonstrates how to clean, repair, and reset headstones in this presentation. Sources for appropriate cleaning solutions and tools as well as a manual written by Misti are also presented.


You won't want to miss this info packed event! Join us and learn the real facts on cemetery preservation and restoration. You won't want to miss this meeting! See you April 17!"


Chapter meetings are held at 2:00 PM at the Folsum Auditorium in the Allen County Museum, 650 W. Market St., Lima, Ohio 45801. The public is always welcome and invited to attend."

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Shannon Cemetery Future Remains Uncertain" -- The Latest Update from the "Lima News" about the Shannon Cemetery in Bluffton, Allen County, Ohio


****Please Leave a Comment in Support of the Friends of Shannon Cemetery in the Comment Section that follows the Story in the Link Below****: 

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"Shannon Cemetery future remains uncertain"


By Craig Kelly - ckelly@civitasmedia.com
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Please visit the Friends of Shannon Cemetery's website and Facebook Pages:

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Below are some of the Letters of Support Received by the Friends of Shannon Cemetery Committee:










Friday, April 1, 2016

Following a Path to the Freshour Family Cemetery in Ross County, Ohio

Robin Holland, a member of the Facebook Group Preserving Ohio's Cemeteries, has shared her photo album of gravestones taken on July 4, 2015 that were still visible at the small Freshour Cemetery; which is a family cemetery, located on Schlegel Road in Twin Township, Ross County, Ohio.  

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 Above and below:
Gravestone for Albert M. Freshour, son of Martha and John, 1877 - 1880
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Thanking Ann Davis of the Ross County Genealogy Society Facebook Group for the following reference and information about Albert M. Freshour and the Freshour Cemetery:

"From Twin Township, Ross Co, Oh Tombstone Transcriptions compiled by Ross Co Genealogical Society in 1993. This little cemetery has almost all Freshour burials and a note regarding it says it is in a barnyard and all the stones are lying flat.
Albert M. Freshour, son of Martha & John Sept 14 1877 - June 26, 1880 2yrs 9mo 12 das. On the George Vandemark farm in 1993"


 Below:
 Below:
Gravestone for Emma Freshour who died August 20, 1884 at age 2 months
 Below are miscellaneous photos taken by Robin Holland 
on July 4, 2015 at the Freshour Cemetery:
 
 
 

To date, though, no grave marker has been located for this John Freshour at the Freshour Cemetery.
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Below is a link with extensive information for this Freshour Family that is privately compiled and shared on "Rootsweb":


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