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, October 28, 2017

Sharing Information about a Great Cemetery Advocacy Facebook Group for two Ohio Cemeteries and One Pennsylvania Cemetery

I recently learned about the "Cemetery Advocacy Group", a Facebook Group, that is dedicated to the preservation of three cemeteries; two in Ohio and one in Pennsylvania.
Please read the introduction about this great group and click on the links for further details.:
"This Facebook Group is for people who have loved ones buried in Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware, Ohio, Suburban Memorial Park in Dover, Pennsylvania and Grandview Memorial Park in Ravenna, Ohio to discuss issues with the cemeteries.":
Delaware County, Ohio:
Portage County, Ohio:
York County, Pennsylvania:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Ohio House Bill 168 Has Passed and is Headed for the Ohio Senate -- Progress Made for some of Ohio's Cemeteries!

Sharing some links regarding Ohio House Bill 168 which just passed and is now headed to the Ohio Senate for review and hopefully will gain passage as well.   


Sadly, even active (current burial) cemeteries can become victims; victims of their owners who abandon them, which should be unheard of. 

 Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware County and Grandview Memorial Park, Ravenna, in Portage County, Ohio have lacked proper ownership for quite some time due to their owners becoming involved with criminal activity. 
Also, there are two cemeteries in southern Ohio where the owners fled the state: Floral Hills Memory Gardens, Circleville in Pickaway County; and Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Chillicothe, in Ross County
Volunteers are often the ones who are left behind to care for these "orphaned cemeteries" while they await new owners, which can be a long time coming. These are cemeteries that have current and future burials; yet no one to maintain their grounds and gravesites or their records.
Hopefully, House Bill 168 will also pass the Ohio Senate as it is the best legislation put forth to address these issues, and deserves to be enacted to save any other cemeteries that one day may be faced with such an unfortunate fate. 

Southington / Pinecrest Cemetery in Trumbull County, Ohio.: A Pioneer Cemetery "Lifted, Corrected, and Restored"

May I say that this week has been a stellar one for Ohio's Cemeteries - with more good news to share that keeps them in the spotlight!  
Today, we're sharing this wonderful article that comes from Trumbull County, Ohio featuring the Southington / Pinecrest Cemetery (per "Find A Grave" - 884 interments and 95% photographed). 
The title of the story is short; but it carries a big message:  

"Cemetery's Markers Righted"
which appeared online on October 22, 2017 on the website of the "Tribune Chronicle" published in Warren, Ohio.

The article covers the evolution of the Southington Cemetery Association and their work that began in 2002.  Now new leadership continues with the association's work to right the wrongs by completing restorations of gravestones of all types and sizes at the Southington Cemetery.  

Quoting below a short excerpt from the story.:

"The cemetery has some of the oldest markers from the early 1800s, including Civil War markers and markers of the founding families such as the Chalker family, including Newton Chalker, founder of the school system, and Luke Viets, founder of the township."

 Please check out:
The Southington / Pinecrest Cemetery on "Ohiogravstones.org"

"Remembering the Forgotten" -- Inviting You to Join Beth Wilson-Shoemaker on Her Cemetery Journeys!

     It is my pleasure to share this feature news article entitled:

          "Remembering the Forgotten"

     It was written by By Nikki Blankenship - nblankenship@aimmediamidwest.com of the "Daily Times" in Portsmouth, Ohio. 

     She interviewed Beth Wilson-Shoemaker; and because she did we, the readers, are so fortunate to have an opportunity to learn about Beth and her passion to preserve the cemeteries she visits. 

     This well-written article invites us to follow along with Beth and her rewarding pursuit to photograph, document, and preserve cemeteries while bringing to life the hidden stories they have waiting for us to discover.  

     Beth also has a fabulous Facebook Page:

    "A Grave Site: Cemetery Photographs by BAWS

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Spotlighting the Ridgelawn Cemetery in Elyria (Lorain County) Ohio

The photographs below are from my October 17, 2017 visit to Ridgelawn Cemetery in Elyria, Ohio

 It was my first visit, and one that was much overdue.  These are just a small sampling of the historic gravestones and monuments to be found at this early Ohio cemetery.  

The earliest burial that I found belongs to Nathaniel Porter who died in June (13th?) 1822.

  His "Find A Grave" memorial contains an extensive biographical write-up.  He was re-interred from another cemetery, however.  Links to memorials for his spouse and children are included with his memorial.  

A visitor can spend several splendid hours exploring Ridgelawn Cemetery in Elyria and easily become immersed in its landscape of amazing variety of trees among towering military monuments. One is topped with a soaring Eagle while another has a life-size Civil War soldier painted in appropriate Union Regimental colors. 

The 1820s - 1840s delicately carved grave markers there are indeed remarkable in their simplicity and not to be missed before you leave.  Several impressive mausoleums include those that are reminiscent of small sandstone houses! 

A visitor cannot help but be drawn to the grand wrought iron gated family plot of Heman Ely and his descendants.  

Ridgelawn Cemetery is a sacred place  where pioneer history awaits visitors who are fortunate enough to come and walk its grounds. 





Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lively Spirits Gathered at Greenfield's Old Burying Ground on October 9th

The Highland County Press published a great story on its website on October 9, 2017 covering the "Ghostly Goings On" that occurred during the Ghost Walk at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield thanks to the re-enactors (members of the Greenfield Historical Society  - link for photos and description of this event) who revived those long ago souls resting in peace at those sacred grounds -- for a day at least -- so that visitors can learn details about them they may not know.  The re-enactors researched the lives of those whom they portrayed and dressed in period attire.

I think you'll enjoy stepping back in history because the Ghost Walk was a true History Tour of Greenfield's Old Burying Ground; one of the earliest cemeteries in Highland County, Ohio. 

Thanking Michael Anderson, a member of the Greenfield Historical Society who attended the Ghost Walk, for so kindly sharing some of his photographs of re-enactors in action and the restored area of gravestones.  

(Below are photographs of Scott Andersen who led the group through the Old Burying Ground.  He portrayed George Meech, an extremely talented gravestone carver who carved some of the most highly detailed markers at the cemetery.  
Also, Teena Thornton who portrayed Mary MilliganTonia McClanahan who portrayed Elizabeth Linn McMillen, Susan Long who portrayed Susanna Jane Crothers, and Danny Long who portrayed Alexander Crawford Sr.)