Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lack of Regular Maintenance a Major Concern for Those Who Care about Clark's Corners Cemetery in Conneaut, Ashtabula County, Ohio


Sharing this news story reported on May 29, 2017 by Cleveland 19 News:

Investigated and Presented by news reporter Shelby Miller 
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Tall uncut grass waving in the wind and obscuring a cracked in half 19th century headstone is a featured segment in the video.  This is an unwelcomed sight seen all too often at Ohio's inactive, and therefore unregistered, cemeteries.  Cemeteries in this unfortunate category (lack of burials in the past 25 years) are discriminated against in Ohio.  This is because unregistered cemeteries are ineligible in the eyes of the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission to accept and handle complaints against those responsible for a cemetery's care -- that is if it is a registered cemetery.

But there is hope............

Utilizing the power of the media to alert the general public, particularly those who live in the community, to the deteriorated conditions that exist at a local cemetery, is a powerful tool.  

The information shared on TV, newspapers, radio stations, and social media spurs stronger interest for individuals and groups to work together for the common good of the cemetery in need of help.  

The rewards are great that stem from cemetery volunteerism -- and so are the results!  
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spotlighting the Old Burying Ground's May 27th, 2017 Work Session - Greenfield, Ohio

Sharing this link from the Greenfield Historical Society in Greenfield (Highland County) Ohio.

 Scott Andersen and his wife Venus, Jacquelyn Doles, Patsy Smith, John King, and Diane Zimmerman were the volunteers who participated in this first more major work session of 2017 at the Village of Greenfield's Old Burying Ground on May 27, 2017.

I'm sure you will enjoy viewing the before and after photographs that tell the story of their progress as it is being made at this historic cemetery.

Please also check out previous work sessions found in the "Past Events" Section (Under the category of "A Look Back") that began in 2014.

This all volunteer group, many of whom are long time stalwarts who have given of their time and talents as they have in so many various capacities, is making a huge difference and bringing this once forlorn looking cemetery back to life!
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(Below are some photos taken at the Old Burying Ground in September, 2016, by Linda Jean Limes Ellis)

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

On Memorial Day We Pause to Honor Those Who Made The Ultimate Sacrifice for America -- For All of Us

You may have seen Andrew Lumish -- The Good Cemetarian -- spotlighted on national newscasts and featured in newspaper stories, etc., and have enjoyed learning more about him and his dedicated volunteer work cleaning veterans' headstones.  
Sharing the latest one from NBC News that aired on May 26, 2017, simply titled:  "Man Honors Veterans by Cleaning Their Headstones".  

Click Here for the Facebook Page for "The Good Cemetarian"
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As we are inspired by the dedication of others to bring awareness to the ongoing needs of cemeteries and the gravesites and gravestones they hold, we are reminded that indeed All Cemeteries Matter.

 So it is that all of our individual and collective efforts put forth toward their betterment means that no cemetery, or those who are buried in them, should be forgotten, or ignored and neglected.

Cemeteries sit silently along America's city streets and country roads alike awaiting to welcome visitors to come and explore their history and show their respect to them.  

Sadly, too many times vandals are the ones who find them only to damage and destroy the grave markers; including those of veterans, knowing that the cemetery is an easy target. 
  
 All we have to do is to walk through a cemetery and linger long enough to read the epitaphs and inscriptions on veterans' grave markers, noting those who were killed in action, to realize that they died for us, so that we may enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear now.
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Remembering a
ll those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  Memorial Day  is dedicated to their memory and their heroism. 
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Thanking Mr. Mike Schrull for cleaning the grave marker of Airman First Class Eric Barnes and placing an American flag at his gravesite at Elmwood Cemetery in Lorain, Ohio.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Ohioans facing issues with cemeteries can seek help from Department of Commerce"

Sharing a link to a news story that has been published in various Ohio newspapers in the past few days with the title.: 

"Ohioans Facing Issues with Cemeteries can seek help from Department of Commerce".  
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BUT, please keep in mind the fact that a cemetery has to be REGISTERED for the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission (of the Department of Commerce; Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing) to accept the complaint! 

"Ohioans facing issues with cemeteries can seek help from Department of Commerce"
***Thus, ONLY REGISTERED CEMETERIES in Ohio qualify for any complaints against their owners to be accepted by the Department of Commerce's Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission. This is important to remember! 
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Cemeteries that DO NOT have burials within the past twenty-five years DO NOT qualify and are NOT registered.*** 

***See more specifics below***:


"Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4767 provides the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission with responsibility over registered cemeteries."

"(C) Sections 4767.02 to 4767.04 of the Revised Code do not apply to or affect a family cemetery or a cemetery in which there have been no interments during the previous twenty-five calendar years. As used in this division, "family cemetery" means a cemetery containing the human remains of persons, at least three-fourths of whom have a common ancestor or who are the spouse or adopted child of that common ancestor." 

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Stevenson Cemetery - Xenia Township - Greene County, Ohio Benefits from Donations from the Daughters of the American Revolution


The "Dayton Daily News" Reports 
(May 22, 2017):

by Casey Laughter

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"XENIA TWP."
"Xenia Township has received a $5,000 matching grant for the restoration of 58 veteran grave stones and markers from as early as the revolutionary war in its Stevenson Cemetery on Jones Road. 
The restoration project was made possible from Cedar Cliff Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and matching grant funds came from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. 
Any interested person can register for a four-hour basic headstone restoration class if they agree to — under direct supervision — clean three other headstones in Stevenson Cemetery within a month of taking the class. 
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The class will be offered 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday, June 2 at the cemetery. The rain date for the event is Saturday, June 3. 
**To RSVP, call Mary at 937-372-0859 by noon Thursday, June 1."**
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Sharing more details about this restoration project on the Xenia Township Website (scroll about half way down the page to see the photos and information.)
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Stevenson Cemetery
Also known as: Massie's Creek Scotch Associate Graveyard, Old Massies Creek Cemetery

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Spotlighting the Smyrna Cemetery Restoration Project in Clermont County, Ohio


It is always encouraging news to read about a "Cemetery Restoration Levy" being passed at an Ohio Township!  

This was the case for Franklin Township in Clermont County, Ohio.  The funds are being used for restoration purposes at the Smyrna Cemetery and the Felicity Cemetery under their care.  

Here is a link to this wonderful story!  

"Smyrna Cemetery Restoration Project" by By Sabrina Schnarrenberg

Sharing an Excerpt from the story.:

"
The Franklin Township Historical Society would like to thank the Franklin Township Trustees and the community members for passing the Cemetery Restoration Levy. Cemetery restoration has begun on the Smyrna Cemetery just outside of Felicity. Smyrna was a community founded by the Rankin Family and the Presbyterians in 1808; the most recent stone is of an infant who passed in 1816."

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The Franklin Township Historical Society would like to put together a group of volunteers to help clean up the graves and document stones. 
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If you are interested in volunteering or would like to have more information please contact Jim at 513 673-3253.


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Sharing an additional link for the Smyrna Cemetery:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohclecgs/cemeteries/smyrna/index.html

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Sharing a WOSU Public Media Story Spotlighting the Ongoing Restoration Efforts at Columbus' Green Lawn Cemetery

As many of us are aware, Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio has suffered multiple vandalism attacks in recent months that have amounted to $1.25 million in damages - a staggering sum.  The human effort required to repair and reset hundreds of markers and monuments so adversely affected by the repeated acts of senseless vandalism has been ongoing and impressive in so many ways.

This story, compiled by Emily Thompson, is one of the most comprehensive I have read to date.  Included are several photographs of the magnitude of the damage and destruction that occured at many sections of this historic cemetery.  

"To Save Green Lawn Cemetery, Columbus State Students Track The Damage"

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

"Receiver Appointed to Troubled Delaware Cemetery" -- The Latest Report for Fairview MemorialPark

A receiver has been appointment to take over Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware County, Ohio per several reports just released.
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From ABC Channel 6 in Columbus, Ohio.:


By Kurt Ludlow.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

REMINDER: OLD BURYING GROUND IN GREENFIELD, OHIO - WORK SESSION - MAY 27, 2017


***REMINDER*** 
WORK SESSION AT THE OLD BURYING GROUND IN GREENFIELD, OHIO IS COMING UP ON SATURDAY, MAY 27TH.
IF YOU ARE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL TO.:
info@greenfieldhistoricalsociety.org
"Our first session of 2017 will be May 27th. 
We’ll start at 8:30 am.

Please join in the fun and start your Memorial Day weekend with some exercise! Stay as long as you can.
Thanks for your help and support. You may reply to this email and let us know if you can help."




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Friday, May 19, 2017

"With owners in prison, volunteers take on cemetery upkeep"

Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 23, 2017 - Next Meeting to Hear Testimonies for HB 168


ANNOUNCEMENT OF COMMITTEE MEETING

COMMITTEE: State and Local Government

CHAIR: Marlene Anielski

DATE: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

TIME: 10:00 AM

ROOM: Room 116

H. B. No. 168

Rep. Stein Modify cemetery law 3rd Hearing

Poss. Vote

Prop/Opp/IP

***The Chair requests that all testimony be submitted to her office 24 hours in advance of committee****
  
Will London
Office of Representative Marlene Anielski, House District 6
Ohio House of Representatives
77 S High St, 12th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 644-6041
William.london@ohiohouse.gov

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Sharing Information about Ohio House Bill 168 - "....To Modify Cemetery duties of the Division of Real Estate in the Department of Commerce regarding cemetery registration, to specify cemetery owners must reasonably maintain cemeteries, to establish the Cemetery Grant Program, and to make an appropriation."

On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, The Ohio House State & Local Government Committee received proponent testimonies for House Bill 168.: 
"To Modify Cemetery Law" 
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Mr. Matthew J. DeTemple, Executive Director of the Ohio Township Association, presented a proponent testimony on behalf of the Ohio Township Association and Ohio's townships.  

Below is Mr. DeTemple's testimony in support of House Bill 168 , which cites Ohio Revised Codes with details of each one and how each affects Ohio's cemeteries.  

Mr. DeTemple's testimony is a powerful one that conveys the message of the importance of being enabled to properly preserve Ohio's cemeteries, their gravesites, and the gravestones and monuments that mark them.  That township trustees require adequate funding to conduct the proper ongoing maintenance for their township cemeteries.  

We join the Ohio Township Association in support of House Bill 168


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From the "Daily Reporter" in Columbus, Ohio (April 24, 2017):

“A freshman lawmaker has taken up a cause begun late in the last session of the Ohio Legislature that would implement the Cemetery Grant Program recommended by a 2014 task force.

Rep. Dick Stein, R-Norwalk, proposed House Bill 168 primarily “to assure we honor and respect all those interred in over 2,400 not for profit cemeteries across Ohio,” he told fellow members of the House of Representatives in a cosponsor request. “Local government funds have shrunk in recent years putting more pressure on our administrators to find solutions for cemetery repairs and maintenance, as mandated by law.

“This bill provides much needed assistance in securing grants to specifically address our cemetery managers’ responsibilities to honor our deceased.”

The bill establishes the grant program in addition to modifying the duties of the Department of Commerce’s Real Estate division regarding cemetery registration and specifying cemetery owners must reasonably maintain cemeteries.

Initial funding of the grant program — $100,000 — would fund grants for Fiscal Year 2018, Stein explained.

“This seed money comes from existing funds set aside by the $2.50 burial permit fees collected by Commerce,” he said. “Future replenishment of these funds will be provided by setting aside $1 of the $2.50 burial permit fee to continue funding these grants.”

HB 168 stipulates the Real Estate division use the funding to advance grants to registered, nonprofit cemeteries to defray the costs of cemetery maintenance or training cemetery personnel in the maintenance and operation of cemeteries.

Further, the bill limits the division’s grant awards to no more than 80 percent of the total fiscal year appropriation.

As for the bill’s provisions specific to maintenance, the bill clearly defines the meaning: “The care of a cemetery and of the lots, graves, crypts, niches, mausoleums, memorials, and markers therein, including the cutting, trimming, and removal of trees; repair of drains, water lines, roads, fences, and buildings; and payment of expenses necessary for maintaining necessary records of lot ownership, transfers, and burials.”

The Real Estate division or a duly created Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission will have final say in whether a given cemetery owner has undertaken reasonable maintenance."

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Old St Mary Cemetery



Here is Old St. Mary Cemetery on "Find A Grave".

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Remembering My Mother, Virginia (Zagorsky) Limes on Mother's Day 2017

Mother's Day is a special day to honor our mother. For those of us whose mother is no longer here to comfort us, share with us, and guide us, it is a day of reflection on her life and our life with her.  What a joy and blessing to have had my mother 47 years of my life.  Now, she is always with me in spirit as my heart holds her close to me each day.  
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Remembering my mother this Mother's Day, May 14, 2017.:




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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mifflin Township to step up enforcement of cemetery rules

Friday, May 12, 2017

American POW in World War II identified from grave in surprising spot in Poland

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Group "Clean Up Floral Hills Memory Gardens" in Chillicothe, Ohio is Planning a Clean Up Day this Saturday, May 13, 2017

A clean up is being planned for this coming Saturday, May 13th, 2017 at the Floral Hills Memory Gardens location in Ross County, Ohio.  

Click HERE to view a map posted on "Find A Grave" for Floral Hills Memory Gardens.

There are 3,429 interments at Floral Hills Memory Gardens listed on "Find A Grave".

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

REMINDER: Annual Clean Up Day at Floral Hills Memory Gardens - Circleville, Pickaway County, Ohio - Saturday, May 20, starting at 9:30a.m.

If you live in the general vicinity of Pickaway County, Ohio and are looking for a great volunteer opportunity at a cemetery that truly needs help, please consider joining others who are planning on conducting clean up work at the Floral Hills Memory Gardens.   
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Contact Connie Little - 740-418-3525 for more information.  

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"Next step proposed to restore cemetery" -- New Albany's Old Burying Ground


Updates on New Albany's Old Burying Ground restoration. 

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Late Breaking News from the Record-Courier in Kent, Ohio Regarding Grandview Memorial Park


Sharing late breaking news on Grandview Memorial Park in Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio as reported by the "Record-Courier" -- May 4, 2017.:

"Portage prosecutor working to seize Grandview Memorial Park from its owners"

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Sharing Encouraging News for Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware County, Ohio!

Sharing a link to this latest news report that appeared in the May 3, 2017 "Delaware Gazette" online edition entitled: 

by Glenn Battishill.  
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Since January of 2016, several news stories and updates have been published about the Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio, and Grandview Memorial Park in Portage County, Ohio and this one is the most encouraging; for at least the Fairview Memorial Park Cemetery in Delaware County. 

This hopeful account reminds us that volunteerism is vitally important now more than ever because acts of vandalism are on the rise at cemeteries; all types of cemeteries.  
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No longer do we mostly hear of vandalism and neglect/abandonment occurring at obscure long dormant cemeteries, but increasingly at larger, active ones.  This is sadly due to absent and criminally negligent cemetery owners causing the cemetery grounds to be easier targets for vandals to enter and linger longer to damage and destroy gravestones and monuments.  


It cannot be stressed enough that bringing more public awareness of a cemetery's particular plight will benefit not only the cemetery itself, but the community as a whole.  

A cemetery is an integral and historical part of the community where it is located.  It either complements or detracts from its surroundings; a fact that should not be ignored.

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Volunteers plant saplings to replace Green Lawn Cemetery's oldest trees