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 29, 2016

Cordelia Baldwin ( - 1841) - Find A Grave Photos

They don't make markers like this any more!  
And more, much more, needs to be done to recognize the artistic value of these fragile, yet ageless, early gravestone markers and monuments -- by taking steps to preserve and save them.   
Sharing a photo of Cordelia Baldwin's exquisite silt stone marker so expertly carved 175 years ago in 1841.

(sharing with permission of Jodie Brown; Find A Grave Member # 46586926)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Reflecting on Our Memories of Memorial Days Gone By

As the years quietly pass by, we often reflect on our memories of the Memorial Days that we spent with loved ones; many who are no longer with us.

We fondly recall the various activities of the warm summer-like holiday from school and work when we sat around a picnic table with relatives and savored the inviting smells and tastes of the all-American barbecue and its traditional trimmings. The feast satisfied our over-sized hunger that came perhaps after a brisk morning walk to catch all of the hometown parade marching down our town's main street that boosted our community pride and raised our spirits in a special way.  

So I ask, as we reflect on Memorial Day, how many of us also remember the time spent visiting local cemeteries and the gravesites of fallen soldiers and sailors who died while serving our country?   

How many of us feel that partaking in that solemn activity was the most important one we shared with our parents and families? -- And the most important memory we have carried with us through the years of Memorial Days gone by?   

A look back at Memorial Day, 1908 in Greenfield Ohio and the surrounding community.  A day when no cemetery and its fallen veterans were forgotten:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Honoring Those Who Served

Honoring Those Who Served: In the 240 years since our nation’s founding, more than one million men and women have given their lives to defending us. Memorial Day is the day we set aside to honor their service and sacrifice. As someone who has served in the military, it is extremely moving for me to attend a Memorial Day service or to visit a cemetery and to see a sea of American flags lovingly placed nearby the headstones of fallen soldiers. It is a stark but important visual reminder that our freedom comes at a great cost.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Update: Clean Up Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio

The volunteers who regularly do clean up work at Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio have set up a Facebook Page entitled:

Sharing their latest message:

As we look out over the Flags set for our resting Military, out over the Markers of our loved ones....we see hope and fellowship in bringing together a community to help when Floral Hills Memory Gardens has been neglected and unkept, we look for others to fix what we see, we look to others to do what needs to be done. 

Somewhere we as a society have lost a part of our common decency and moral character. We have shown thru the help of all the volunteers here...that we can stand up when we are pushed down, we can stand together when times are tough. we will demand that our leaders and state officials listen to our voices. 

We will look past the roadblocks and continue our fight, we will look past those who choose to ignore and we will proceed. There will always be something in the road trying to slow you down....it's what you do when you come upon this delay that will determine who you are. 

We will be having a Memorial Day Service immediately following the scheduled Annual Clean-up on May 28th, 2016. 

We realize it is Saturday, but will wait no longer to show respect to our Military that are resting at Floral Hills Memory Gardens-Chillicothe. 

We hope to see alot of you there this coming Saturday...and hope all will stay and more will come for our Memorial Day Service at 3pm. Thank you to all the volunteers that load up their mowers throughout the year, thank you to all those that continue to help everyday in what they are able to do. We will get better, we will be heard....nothing this big is ever easy, nor able to fix overnight. Stand together and strong and help us rise again. Thank You for your help."


Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Chillicothe on "Find A Grave"

"Few Pitch in to Clean Up Floral Hills Memory Gardens"

Saturday, May 21, 2016

It's Spring & Summer is Coming -- & so are Cemetery Preservation / Restoration Workshops - But Not All Hands-On Workshops are Alike!

With Spring upon us and Summer on the horizon, we are reading about hands-on cemetery preservation (or cemetery restoration) workshops to be presented in Ohio and in neighboring states.  

Please keep in mind that a workshop is only as worthwhile as the quality of the teaching by its instructor.    

Gravestone cleaning methods always matter!  

Below is a handy sheet to have on hand before attending a cemetery workshop that includes demonstrations and instructions on how to clean gravestones. 

Remember that not every gravestone really needs to be cleaned in order to read its inscription!  

Less is always more when it comes to gravestones.

It is never appropriate or acceptable to use power tools on gravestones to clean them!  

"NCPTT does not advocate the use of power tools to clean headstones. The use of such tools can abrade and remove granules from weathered marble and limestone. We do not advocate grinding, re-lettering, or polishing headstones as this alters the original surface of the grave marker. 
The company that makes Nyalox brushes compares their performance to wire brushes, which are much too harsh for a stone surface. Would you use a Nyalox brush on a power drill to clean the surface of your automobile? If not, then you would not use it to clean a grave marker."
Generally approved gravestone cleaning products -- LEFT COLUMN!!
These abrasive brushes shown below are harmful to gravestone surfaces and have no place at a cemetery workshop no matter who the instructor is! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Announcing News of a Walking Tour at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima, Ohio - Saturday, June 18, 2016 - 2:00p.m.

"The Allen County Genealogical Society will be giving a walking tour of the Old Lima Cemetery section of Woodlawn Cemetery on Saturday, June 18, at 2:00pm.

The Old Lima Cemetery section is located at the south end of the cemetery. We will be sharing information on various people buried there and the history of the move.

This meeting is open to the public and all are welcome! 
In fact if you have family buried there, we would like for you to come share with us. See you June 18th!"


Monday, May 16, 2016

Learning More about "Limited Home Rule Townships" in Ohio

Sharing this news story entitled:

By Denise G. Callahan
Staff Writer - "Journal-News" in Butler County, Ohio
Abstracted from the article:
"Townships in this state are required to maintain public cemeteries — West Chester’s cemetery budget is $263,433 this year — and the trustees were concerned they would be responsible if someone ever abandoned a property that had a family cemetery on it."
“My concern is if those cemeteries become abandoned, they then become the responsibility of the township,” Trustee George Lang said. “I’m trying to avoid a future liability for the taxpayers. That’s purely it.”
"Township administrator Judi Boyko told the trustees recently she doesn’t believe they have any situations pending like the one Lang described, and they aren’t going to take an inventory, but an attorney general’s opinion allows the ban so they wanted to give themselves some extra protection.
In 2007, the attorney general’s office decided townships could not ban private cemeteries. The prosecutor in Fairfield County asked the question again in 2014 and the attorney general said townships with limited home rule authority, like West Chester, do have the power."
“A board of trustees of a limited home rule township may enact a resolution prohibiting the burial of human remains in private or family cemeteries within the unincorporated territory of the township provided that the board of township trustees determines the resolution is in the interest of the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare of the public,” the opinion reads. “Relevant factors that a board of township trustees may consider in determining whether to enact such a resolution include, among others, the conservation of safe, underground water resources and the preservation of property values within the township.”



Ohio Revised Code:

504.01 Procedure for adopting limited home rule government.

"What Does it Mean to be A Home Rule Township?"

"Limited Home Rule gives the township the ability to enact legislation in a broad range of areas that it cannot do as a statutory township. Currently, the only powers a statutory township has includes the adoption of township zoning, creation of a police and/or fire district, imposition of civil fines for property maintenance and/or traffic violations, and general maintenance of roads and cemeteries within the township (excluding county roadways). That’s it, nothing more, nothing less."


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Civil War veteran receives new headstone in community ceremony — public invited

Find A Grave Memorial for Sgt. Joseph Boley

Why Preserving an Original Historical Gravestone Matters

We all have seen them. Gravestones that are broken, sinking, unreadable, some sadly vandalized by humans through carelessness or on purpose.
So, we feel we must replace these finely carved marble, sandstone, and limestone markers with shiny new granite gravestones.  

Sometimes that is all we feel we can do.  

But, have we really taken the time to look into choosing proper repair methods that would save that damaged grave marker?  

Perhaps if you don't take steps to save the gravestone, no one else will. 


This subject brings me to sharing a great resource devoted to saving graves and their grave markers.  

It offers almost unlimited cemetery and gravestone links that you will also enjoy browsing through while you take notes and learn!   


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sharing Recent Photos of the Pioneer Cemetery in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio

Sharing photographs of some of the markers and monuments standing at the Pioneer Cemetery in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio.  
The Pioneer Cemetery was the site of a restoration workshop held a few years ago.  
However, these photographs show that additional preservation work remains to be done because many of the gravestones and momunents, including some veterans markers, are in need of proper care for serious condition issues. 

SamuelCharles, and Lewis Chamberlin sides of monument



Double marker in slotted base for Hannah Chamberlin and Samuel Chamberlin

Three markers left to right:
Elizabeth, wife of Ephraim Culy, Mary Ellen, dau of G. & M. Liverpool (incorrectly spelled on gravemarker as "Liverpoll"), and Elizabeth B., wife Chambless Applegate


Notes from "Find A Grave" about the Pioneer Cemetery:

"Cemetery notes and/or description:
The cemetery is a city block bounded by Main Street, West Street, Mulberry Street, and Harrison Street within the city of Lebanon. Although the cemetery is now a single entity, the north half was originally the Baptist Graveyard and was known as the Old Baptist Graveyard. The south half was the Methodist Cemetery and, likewise, was known as the Old Methodist Graveyard. The Old Baptist Graveyard began about 1811 when the Baptist church moved their church from a site east of Lebanon to a lot in the western part of town. The churchyard was used as a burying ground. The Old Methodist Graveyard did not come into use until 1820.

The cemetery is #12292 in “Ohio Cemeteries 1803-2003”, compiled by the Ohio Genealogical Society.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) feature ID for the cemetery is 1044484 (Pioneer Cemetery)."

Sunday, May 8, 2016

D/2 Biological Solution -- Before and After Results on a Gray Granite Gravestone

D/2 Biological Solution has come to the rescue for me on this gray granite gravestone located in Elmwood Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio where "the coal and iron meet" and that means pollution I'm afraid.  

Albert and Marie (Weber) Limes were my uncle and aunt.  I remember them as a child mainly since my uncle Albert died when I was 12 years old.  

Their gravestone is one that I have been washing almost yearly for a least 10 years with water and a brush.  It has suffered like so many finished and unfinished grave markers around it with the horrible black streaks and marks that I fear are the result of such pollution found in the area in my hometown.  

So, in May of 2015 I did something different.  I cleaned their stone with D/2 Biological Solution.  I used my gloves and face mask to be sure as I am a sensitive person to smells and solutions.  The smell of ammonia always bothered me for days.  

So, I wetted down the gravestone and then sprayed some "D/2" on it and proceeded to scrub lightly with my white soft bristle plastic brush (think Rubbermaid), and rinsed the stone again with plain water.  I visited the stone a couple of more times in 2015.  There was an improvement; but not dramatic, but I was pleased it was looking cleaner without looking "bleached" or anything in that drastic category.  

So, now it is May of 2016, and I visited my uncle and aunt's gravesite again.   And, I saw in person quite evidently the improvement in appearance being more pronounced for the gravestone.  So I took a new photograph of it.  

I wanted to share my before and after photographs also because I think doing comparisons help us view progress in the making.  

Older grave markers don't have to look showroom perfect, or like brand new -- and that is something I think many who clean them sometimes lose sight of.  They are historic one of a kind artifacts, and we should treat them with care.  

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

Remembering my mother on Mother's Day

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Spotlighting Ohio's Cemetery Explorer Ken Naegele -- Ohio's "Necro Tourist"

Ken Naegele, of Cincinnati, has a prominent presence in Ohio and beyond due to his frequent excursions exploring cemeteries whether they be large or small, city or rural, well-kept or abandoned.  

Ken calls himself a "Necro Tourist"; and he is doing a great service by sharing his experiences from his walking tours of the land of the dead.  He provides a voice for those long lost souls no longer here to speak for themselves; but would cry out to be heard by us now if only they could, and
ask us if we care about the state of their final resting places.

Through his photographs and descriptions, Ken is bringing a greater awareness to the general public of the reality of deteriorating conditions that pervade so many of our cemeteries today, and sadly have been doing so for far too long. Conversely, if he finds one in a well-cared for condition, he lets us know that too!  

To learn more about all Ken Naegele is doing on behalf of cemetery preservation, please visit the links below to his Facebook Pages and website: 

"The Necro Tourist at the Oxford Township/Doty Settlement Cemetery in Oxford, Ohio
 (c) The Funeral Source, photo: Ken Naegele"

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Spotlighting Cincinnati's Mount Washington Cemetery & It's Annual Cemetery Tour - Sunday, May 29, 2016 from 1:00p.m. to 2:00p.m.

Mt. Washington Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio will be holding its annual cemetery tour coming up on Sunday, May 29, 2016 from 1:00p.m. to 2:00p.m.  

Contact information is provided below.

It is my pleasure to share also more links about the Mt. Washington Cemetery and congratulate two fine ladies - Julie Rimer and Jody Pol - who do an outstanding job with overseeing the care of Mt. Washington Cemtery as well as sharing all aspects of its history.  They have been an inspiration to all who know of their tireless efforts on behalf of Mt. Washington Cemetery.