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."

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sharing Recent Cemetery News and Events from Around Ohio

"Families cheated by Grandview need to make new arrangements"
"From the "Record Courier"

By DIANE SMITH Staff Writer Published: June 18, 2017 4:00 AM

Excerpted from this News story:

"Cemetery policies"
"Private cemeteries, Colecchi said, also are required to abide by state laws. He said the law defines pre-need items, and requires funds paid for such items to put into a trust or other account until the money is needed to pay for services."
"The same code, he said, requires cemetery owners to file affidavits with the state to account for the money customers pay, and to set up accounts for lawn maintenance."
"To date, Colecchi said, he has been unable to find such accounting by the Martins for Grandview."
"My understanding is that pre-need payment annual reporting has not been filed for a number of years," he said. "I've seen no evidence that it has been filed."
"The Grandview bank account has just $332.58 in it, Colecchi said, and that makes it impossible for him to honor pre-need contracts for families who want to use their plots. The families need to make arrangements with funeral homes and monument companies, he said. There also is a fee schedule in place for opening and closing of graves.
For now, Ravenna Township trustees are handling mowing of Grandview, and Rootstown trustees are aiding the township by lending specialized mowing equipment."
"The Portage County Prosecutor's Office has filed a motion seeking to dissolve the corporation that owns Grandview. The motion, which is pending in Portage County Common Pleas Court Judge Laurie Pittman's court, states that the Martins have "systematically used Grandview as a subterfuge to engage in criminal activity" and have used funds paid for cemetery plots and pre-need merchandise and services for personal use."
"Should Pittman dissolve ownership of the cemetery, Ravenna Township trustees would assume ownership and responsibility for burials -- but not "pre-need" items that often are purchased separately at many cemeteries."
"Colecchi, who will oversee Grandview Cemetery until the ownership issues is resolved, expects to file his first report with the court in July. Since he took receivership of the cemetery, only one person has been buried in Grandview under his watch."
"Two others, clients of Wood-Kortright-Borkoski, also were caught up in the issue when they died shortly after Ted Martin, on his way to prison, ordered Grandview to shut down. Those people eventually were buried at the cemetery."
"Nothing new"
"Spicer said issues with Grandview, which opened in the 1960s, are nothing new. When the Martins took ownership of the place, Spicer said he heard complaints that they hiked the cost of opening and closing plots three times within their first three months of ownership, aiming to make them comparable to private cemeteries in Summit County, which charge hundreds or thousands more than municipal cemeteries."
"We saw this coming for a long time," he said. "There's nothing you can do."
"The families coming to him, he said, are already clients of his funeral home, but want to update their pre-arrangements to cover items they thought they bought from Grandview. The added expense is difficult for some families to cover, he said, but "they just know it has to be done."
"We try to come up with something that wouldn't have them spending too much money, but still allow them to have a decent funeral," he said."
"Conneaut Women Digs into Cemetery's History" From the "Star-Beacon" - Ashtabula, Ohio - By MARK TODD mtodd@starbeacon.com -  June 19, 2017
Excerpted from this News story:
"The cemetery contains a large number of military veterans, including three who fought in the Revolutionary War, Lardi said. The graves of 14 veterans of the War of 1812, one Spanish-American War veteran and five who fought in World War I can be found in City Cemetery, she said.
It is also the final resting place for 142 Civil War soldiers. In their honor, the entrance to the cemetery is marked by a statue of a Civil War erected in 1912, Lardi said. Two small cannons were added to the monument in 1924, she said."
"Efforts Target Historic Frankfort-area Cemetery"   
From the "Chillicothe Gazette"
, Reporter3:27 p.m. ET June 19, 2017
Excerpted from this News story:
"Basically, we will take (the markers) up all the way in two of these cases and we'll take the other (two) apart completely and clean them and put a new foundation under them," Smith said of the ones already paid for. "A little bit different from what other people do, I count myself as historic and we try to do it historically correct. ... We will be resetting these largely the way they were set originally except we will be using finer crushed stone instead of what they used before."

"I'm really big on having things look historically correct."
"The cemetery's neighbor is the Melvin Stone Quarry, which has donated the gravel for the project. Diane Mallow is hoping other members of the Mallow or Hegler families or those in the community interested in historic preservation will choose to also donate to the work so that as much of the cemetery as possible can be restored."

Those interested in donating the project can do so by visiting www.GravestoneTransformations.com and clicking on the "Donations" link. There, donors can earmark their donation to a specific project if they so choose."

"Smith said the average marker in the cemetery would take around $300 to $450 worth of work, which would put the entire cemetery in roughly the $10,000 to $15,000 range."