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, September 29, 2016

"Saving Graves" -- "Cleaning a Gravestone Non-Ionic Detergents" -- Newly Updated Information

Be sure to check out the latest updated category on the website "Saving Graves": 

Under the Main Category of Care and Cleaning of Gravestones are several links or 'sub-categories' on the Saving Graves website including:

 "Cleaning a Gravestone - Non-Ionic Detergents." 
Saving Graves  -- "Cleaning a Gravestone --Non-Ionic Detergents" was recently updated on August 15, 2016.  
The listing of approved gravestone cleaning products now includes"D/2 Biological Solution" and a link to the manufacturer's website

You can also Find Saving Graves on Facebook! 

AND, you can follow Saving Graves on Twitter
My Thoughts about "Savings Graves":
I personally feel that "Saving Graves" is a great on-line resource that is unfortunately too often overlooked and sadly under appreciated for its sheer volume of cemetery / gravestone related information that is categorized in a convenient to use format.

I consider "Saving Graves" as being a 'go-to', 'how-to' & 'all-in-one' website for cemetery preservation and gravestone conservation that is akin to what "Cyndi's List" is to "all things genealogy"-- which, by the way, also includes Cemetery / Gravestone related links and Ohio links!!  
In fact, "Saving Graves" IS on Cyndi's List
Check out "Saving Graves" - Endangered Cemetery Reports.


HOPE Crew: Re-setting Headstones in Chalmette

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sharing the "Highland County Times-Gazette" Story: "Veteran Gravestones Get Facelift"

The "Veteran Gravestones Get Facelift"  news story in the Highland County, Ohio "Times-Gazette" that was also published online on September 26, 2016, as shared by Steph Roland of the Highland County Veterans Office, spotlights the accomplishments that can be achieved during a hands-on cemetery preservation workshop. 

Included is to clearly state to participants their need to always adhere to Do No Harm best practices of preservation that ensures protection for the gravestones being cleaned and repaired so they can remain in good condition for as long as possible.  

Then comes the additional perk that can arise from probing and digging around in a pioneer cemetery - the unexpected discovery of a long buried gravemarker.  And, that is exactly what happened at the Fall Creek Cemetery workshop held this summer. 

The unearthing of the orignal grave marker for Revolutionary War veteran Alexander Wright who was born in Augusta County, Virginia circa 1759.
This wonderfully written report blends the aspects of local history and genealogy that intermingle at final resting places in a cemetery.  It spotlights the ongoing need for proper education and hands-on participation at the community level to better address the needs at local cemeteries. 
Please be sure to read the whole story to learn how you can become more involved! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sharing My Photographs of the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio

I am quite pleased to share my photographs taken on September 16, 2016 of portions of some sections of the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Ohio. 

The Greenfield Historical Society has been holding hands-on restoration sessions at the Old Burying Ground, which is adjacent to the Travellers Rest, since 2014. 

You can follow the progress of the all-volunteer group who are transforming this early Ohio cemetery on the website of the Greenfield Historical Society.  


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Revisiting the Good Hope Cemetery in Wayne Township, Fayette County, Ohio

Below are my photographs taken on September 17, 2016 at the Good Hope Cemetery in Wayne Township, Fayette County, Ohio.  

Of particular interest for me are the gravesites of some of my collateral line Limes ancestors, namely John Limes and his wife Sarah Ann (Cory) Limes

John and Sarah Limes' daughter-in-law, Ida Maude (McHugh) Limes, and her baby daughter, Lulu E. Limes, are buried near them.  

Sarah Ann (Cory) Limes' parents, James Cory and Rebecca (Sperry) Cory, and their young daughter, Louisa Cory, are buried nearby.  Their gravesites are marked by a tall gray marble monument. 
The Good Hope Cemetery is well kept by the township trustees and is an active registered cemetery in the State of Ohio.  

Above are side-by-side photos of the John Limes' gravestone. 

The John Limes' white marble gravestone was quite darkened on a large portion of its surface for many years, even after cleaning it all over with water and a soft bristle brush and generous rinsing.  

In May of 2014 it was cleaned by Scott Andersen with D/2 Biological Solution and rinsed.  Now, just over two years later, the gravestone looks great! Its appearance is improved but not actually altered by any abrasive tools or methods.  It's an old gravestone and it isn't expected to look 'brand new' - nor should it! 

Above is the Cory monument 

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Cemetery preservation at Pontius UMC takes investigative skills, persistence and epoxy" -- Pickaway County, Ohio

Sharing this news story about the cemetery and gravesetone restoration work being done at the Pontius UMC Cemetery in Pickaway County, Ohio by Mark Smith of Gravestone Transformations.  

(Photographs of the Pontius UMC Cemetery taken a few years ago by Linda Jean Limes Ellis)

Upcoming "OBG" - Old Burying Ground Restoration Session in Greenfield - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Upcoming Workshop Information: 

The next restoration session at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield in Highland County, Ohio is scheduled for Thursday, September 22nd beginning at 8:00a.m.  

You can join this great group of dedicated volunteers doing amazing work at Greenfield Ohio's oldest cemetery! 

22Old Burial Ground next to Travellers RestPlease join other volunteers as we continue to make improvements to the Old Burial Ground. We'll start at 8 a.m. and work as long as we have the energy. Come help and stay as long as you can.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Erie Street Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio - The City's Oldest Cemetery - Suffered a Severe Vandalism Attack Over Labor Day Weekend

Sadly, Cleveland's oldest cemetery, the Erie Street Cemetery, was severely vandalized over Labor Day weekend.  

The news reports on "Cleveland.com" state that a monument company has been hired to conduct restoration work at Erie Street Cemetery.  At this time, the name of the monument company has not been made public. 

Below are photographs from Casey Daniels who is a member of the closed Facebook Group: "Preserving Ohio's Cemeteries."  

Casey so kindly posted her photographs in the group; and granted permission to share them.  The pictures were taken during her recent visit to the Erie Street Cemetery following the vandalism attack.
Casey reports:

  "Here are some pictures of the destruction at Cleveland's Erie Street Cemetery. Vandalism happened over Labor Day weekend. We counted at least 30 damaged stones and heard that the city has already surveyed and that a monument company is working with the city to make things right."

So, we look forward to learning further news of progress being planned and made to repair the damages done at Erie Street Cemetery.

The website "Find A Grave" lists 21, 833 interments at Erie Street Cemetery.  


Remembering My Mother on Her Birthday - Virginia (Zagorsky) Limes

Remembering my mother, Virginia (Zagorsky) Limes on the occasion of her 102nd birthday today.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sharing the Latest Blog Post from "Stone Revival Historical Preservation" -- "Outdoor Indiana"

Sharing the latest blog post by Stone Revival Historical Preservation 
The Indiana DNR publishes a magazine entitled:  "Outdoor Indiana" and in the current, September/October 2016 issue, are articles on the subject of cemeteries.

One such article is entitled ...:

"Of grave concern"

"Cemetery care is a noble but sensitive pursuit"
By Marty Benson, OI staff
Photography by Frank Oliver, OI staff 
... where only a snippet of the story is currently publicly provided online.  

However, for magazine subscribers and those who have read the magazine where it is currently available to the public such as at libraries, the full multi-page article is available.  It will be available online later this year.  

Having read the full article, I feel it short-changed the readers by not including comments from more than one gravestone business person who resides in Indiana; nor include reports of studies that have been conducted by others on the various methods used for cleaning gravestones.  Methods ranging from using plain water and a soft bristle brush to, sadly, the destructiveness of one of the most unapproved methods still in use - power tools, specifically Nyalox brushes attached to high speed power drills - ostensibly to clean and 'polish' gravestones. 

Thankfully, the "Stone Revival Historical Preservation" blog post addresses this issue and exposes the dangers of using aggressive/abrasive tools on gravestones regardless of whose hands are holding the tool, lest anyone would think that because someone operates a gravestone cleaning business that they would somehow find a way to stop an abrasive tool from being ~ well abrasive!    

A true professional gravestone conservator (or preservationist / restorationist) who faithfully adheres to Do No Harm Best Practices as set forth by the NCPTT would NOT be picking up nyalox brushes and power drills to clean gravestones!  

  The July 24, 2014 NCPTT Blog Post entitled: 
Yes, we have explored this subject over and over here in Ohio since this destructive practice "wormed its way" into our Buckeye State.   

Sadly, our neighbor Indiana, for all of its strong government laws enacted to protect its cemeteries, has failed to enact a law making it illegal to use power tools on gravestones.  
Enacting strong specific laws for cleaning gravestones would be a big step in the right direction to stop this type of needless destruction of the epitaphs, names, dates, and symbolic motifs that were so beautifully carved with care and skill on the very gravestones they seek to protect from harm.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

When "I S" means something other than "is"! -- Mystery Markers at the Center Village Cemetery in Harlem Township, Delaware County, Ohio

Photographs and information from Vicki Tieche -- submitted September 3rd and 4th, 2016.
Vicki Tieche's question is in connection to the smaller size plain markers that only have the inscription of "I S" carved on them. And, Vicki is wondering if anyone else has seen "I S"carved on small stone markers.

Below is the information that Vicki Tieche has shared and her question to learn the meaning of the "I S" inscribed on several of the small size footstone looking stones at the Center Village Cemetery in Harlem Twp., Delaware County, Ohio.
"In your research and or cemetery work, have you ever run across roughly made markers with only the initials I.S. on them? I have found 5 in one of our cemeteries, the one with the highest concentration of Civil War burials. I've wondered if they were temporary markers put in for soldiers graves until the families could afford to buy a real stone. A couple of them were near Civil War stones and in most cases, the IS stones were flat on the ground or along the edge of the cemetery. I'm attaching some pictures. "
"One of them, the last one we found, my daughter stepped on as we were leaving the cemetery one day. It was face down beside the large monument for a Civil War soldier who died at Atlanta. We'd been over it / past it many times and hadn't realized it was shaped until that day. That's when I made the possible connection to war burials - the others had been near the graves of soldiers who died in the war. I'm attaching a picture of the large monument. The IS stone was below the right side of the stone, between the stone and the cemetery fence."
"Yes, Center Village Cemetery is the only one where I've found the IS stones.
I may be able to add a little more to help - one of the first settlers here was Ishmael Bennet, born about 1729, survivor of the Wyoming Massacre, who came with his son, the Reverend Daniel Bennet in 1809. Ismael was a stonecutter "at the base of little mountain" in Pennsylvania. His son, Daniel obviously learned the trade from his father because there are stones signed "Brother D. Bennet". Center Village Cemetery was created beside the ME Church in Center Village. Reverend Russell Bennett, son of Daniel, lived beside the church and was chaplain for the 32nd OVI company I. So, there's a high possibility Russell was also a stonecutter or had learned enough from his father to make the IS stones."

 Above is a close up view of the marker below by the tree