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."

Friday, July 29, 2016

Looking at Some Online Cemetery Preservation Resources - Ohio and Around the Country

In 2010, the Sons of the American Revolution posted a helpful and well arranged online listing of "state-by-state cemetery preservation, related laws, and resources" that is a great starting point for finding links to cemetery preservation information pertaining to any individual state. 

"Saving Graves - Cemetery Preservation Alliance" (see main link below) also offers state specific links for cemetery preservation resources and educational and volunteer information.  
So check out Ohio's cemetery preservation resources.  I personally hope that more will be added at the state level.  
Also, although your cemetery of concern may be located in Ohio, please take a moment and check out cemetery preservation information offered on other states' websites because it is good to learn what other states are doing to improve their cemeteries.  

 (main link)
Saving Graves

Ohio History Connection - Cemetery Preservation

Ohio Genealogical Society - Cemetery Research and Preservation Resources

State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries

Kentucky Historical Society - Cemetery Preservation

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency

Indiana Historic Preservation & Archaeology from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources 

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission - Cemetery Preservation and Recordation

Texas Historical Commission - Cemetery Preservation

Georgia Historic Preservation Division - Georgia Department of Natural Resources - Cemeteries

Oregon Parks & Recreation Department - Oregon Historic Cemeteries Program

Michigan Historic Cemeteries Preservation Guide

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What is the appropriate means to dispose of an old Bible? | Catholic Answers

"There is no specifically mandated means of disposing of old Bibles. Some Catholics follow a custom of disposing of religious articles that have been blessed either by burying or burning them, but even that is not mandated by law. If the Bible has been blessed you might choose to follow that custom. If not, dispose of it as you would any other book. If it’s still in fair condition, you might put it on a book donation table to benefit someone else."

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sheep Pen Cemetery Update: More Gravestones Cleaned, Repaired and Reset

Scott Andersen reports that more gravestones at the Sheep Pen Cemetery were cleaned, repaired, and reset on July 21st.  This additional work follows the success of the day long June 25, 2016 hands-on workshop where a large number of gravestones received significant attention resolving various condition issues that had been adversely impacting many of the fragile 19th century tablets and markers.  


Through the generosity and hard work of the all-volunteer crew of Scott, his wife Venus, and the stalwart regulars from the Greenfield Historical Society who have been restoring the Old Burying Ground in their village; the Sheep Pen Cemetery has been transformed from appearing almost abandoned to boasting an impressively improved condition normally associated with an active 21st Century cemetery filled with modern day polished granite  markers and monuments.  
Thanking Scott for sharing some of the photographs taken during this latest work session at the Sheep Pen Cemetery:   
The rear area of Sheep Pen Cemetery where the Margaret and Samuel Yohn gravestones are located. 

The Margaret Yohn stone being lifted up for resetting upright.  
The photograph below shows her stone after it was reset.
Cleaned and repaired grave marker for Samuel Yohn
Left to right:
  Gravestones of Christina (Beals) Bennett, the small marker of daughter Nancy C. Bennett and Jesse K. Bennett
The small marble gravestone of Corp. N. T. McVay its pieces clamped together during the repair stage followed by a photograph of it without clamps.
Below are three photographs showing the rows of repaired and cleaned grave markers at the Sheep Pen Cemetery in Madison Township, Highland County, Ohio:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Raising Up the Mary Crother's Gravestone at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio

Sharing amazing photos, courtesy of Scott Andersen, illustrating the process of raising up and resetting the Mary Crothers' gravestone at Greenfield's pioneer cemetery - the Old Burying Ground.  

The volunteers working to restore the Old Burying Ground are primarily those who are members of the Greenfield Historical Society.


Also, check out the blog post from February 14, 2016 that was dedicated to Mary Davis also buried at the Old Burying Ground.   Her gravestone was also carved by George Meech.   

(Above photo of the 1850 U. S. Census - Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio.  Line #3 is George Meech, "Stone Cutter" who was the carver of Mary Crother's and Mary Davis' gravestones.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Spotlighting the Milan Cemetery in Milan, Erie County, Ohio

Below is a random sharing of gravestone and monument photos set amidst the sweeping landscape that awaits the visitors of the Milan Cemetery in Erie County, Ohio.  It is a beautiful cemetery, however, some gravestones need TLC and require repair and resetting work as well as some gentle cleaning.  
Also, be sure and visit the following well organized community website about the Milan Cemetery




Sunday, July 10, 2016

What a Difference Two Weeks Can Make! Hard Work by Dedicated People Using Proper Tools and Practices Prove to be an Unbeatable Combination

As was promoted here earlier this summer, the Sheep Pen Cemetery Hands-On Preservation Workshop was held on June 25, 2016.  

During the day-long workshop, condition issues for a large number of gravestones were identified with the able assistance provided by Scott and Venus Andersen, John King, and others who are members of the Greenfield Historical Society, and of course the workshop enrollees themselves who traveled there to learn and improve their working knowledge of proper gravestone preservation practices.

One of the larger and older monuments that sat atop a wide slotted base was cleaned, hoisted up, and reset on June 25th.  It belongs to William Irwin, Jr. and has been proudly standing in place for him at the Sheep Pen Cemetery for almost 150 years. 
(Before and after photos above by Scott Andersen)
Large containers of water were hauled in for the workshop.  Other supplies included tarps, buckets, soft bristle brushes, a special bright orange colored "lifter" to lift up the bases of larger monuments, and an ample supply of  D/2 Biological Solution which was used to clean the William Irwin, Jr. monument.

(Photos below by Scott Andersen)
(Above is the William Irwin, Jr. monument after it was cleaned and hoisted up from its slotted base.)

Please Note:  

No power tools were used at the workshop!  That means NO nyalox brushes on power drills that damage and diminish the surface of the gravestones, nor power washers, were on hand or used!  
This fact is so important to emphasize.  It is good to know that Sheep Pen Cemetery was spared from them!  

Sadly, too many of Ohio's cemeteries have not been as fortunate as Sheep Pen because the use of these abrasive tools on gravestones has "wormed its way" into the Buckeye State from Indiana and wrongly promoted as safe when the results show how destructive they are.  The passage of time has proven this truth.