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."

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sharing a video from Cleveland 19 News Reporter Paul Orlousky about the West Park Cemetery in Cleveland

Sharing a short video that was broadcast today (April 25, 2018) about the West Park Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.  

by Reporter Paul Orlousky

This is not a long video, but there is an interview with a cemetery visitor who has family buried at the West Park Cemetery.  

There is enough video footage to give us a good look at several markers that are sitting under water surrounded by large areas of muddy water; and tracks of thick mud left from equipment that had been driven through the cemetery and over the markers.  

I hope the reporter does a follow-up video and story before the end of May so we can learn if indeed some of the problems shown in this video that he said he was promised would be corrected actually were corrected.  I feel it is probably going to take longer, however, to repair and put back up some of the larger monuments.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Announcing Two Upcoming Old Burying Ground in Greenfield Hands-On Cemetery Preservation / Restoration Sessions - Tuesday May 8th and Tuesday May 15, 2018 -- Start times at 9:00a.m.

MAY, 2018

8Old Burial Ground next to Travellers RestPlease join other volunteers as we continue to make improvements to the Old Burial Ground. We'll start at 9:00 a.m. and work as long as we have the energy. Come help and stay as long as you can.
15Old Burial Ground next to Travellers RestPlease join other volunteers as we continue to make improvements to the Old Burial Ground. We'll start at 9:00 a.m. and work as long as we have the energy. Come help and stay as long as you can.

Monday, April 23, 2018

This News Story Can Pave the Way for Fremont's Historic Oakwood Cemetery to Get the Help it Needs!

"Fremont history fading away in neglected Oakwood Cemetery"

From the Fremont "News Messenger"
By Daniel Carson
Twitter: @DanielCarson7
April 20, 2018

Excerpt from news story:

"BALLVILLE TOWNSHIP - History means a lot to Jack Ferguson.
For 15 years, he tended to Oakwood Cemetery as its superintendent, working every day next to the burial plots and monuments honoring some of Fremont's most famous residents.
President Rutherford B. Hayes was buried at Oakwood for about 20 years, until the former president's remains were moved to their current resting place in Spiegel Grove. His wife, Lucy, also was originally buried at Oakwood before being reinterred to be near her husband.
Several of Hayes' children and family members are buried around the cemetery's Hayes Circle, with other prominent Fremont residents at Oakwood that include Maj. Gen. Ralph Buckland, 1912 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Clarence Childs and Russ Christy, founder of the Christy Knife Company.
Ferguson retired as superintendent in 2002, but the historic cemetery and how it looks still mean a lot to him."
 Please click on the Title to read the complete story which is well complemented by a short video and photographs.  

I feel that the Oakwood Cemetery will get the help it needs.  
This news story brings to light that there are several concerned individuals and organizations in Fremont who can pull together to make it happen! 
An example below of a gravemarker 
that was restore to its normal position.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A 1939 Feature Article by the "Daily Herald" of Circleville, Pickaway County, Relates Details of the Work Done by Those Who Embarked on Registering the Graves and Drawing Cemetery Plat Maps for the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration / Works Projects Administration) During the Years of the Great Depression

Since 2013 I have worked on locating WPA Cemetery Plat Maps for all of Ohio's 88 counties.  It has meant several phone calls and emails to various government agencies and private organizations such as libraries and historical societies to learn where these maps, drawn up primarily during the years of the Great Depression, are located today.  

Presently, thirteen counties remain unaccounted for where these WPA Cemetery Plat Maps are located.: Adams, Carroll, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Mahoning, Meigs, Montgomery, Noble, Ottawa, Preble, Putnam, and Seneca Counties.
However, it is gratifying to unexpectedly see this news story that appears in the May 5, 1939 "Daily Herald", Circleville, Pickaway County newspaper. 

 It is shown below copied in four separate parts.  This story can be found on "Newspapers.com" as well as "NewspaperArchives.com".  

Here's hoping that this story will inspire more people to visit their local cemeteries and take note of the gravesites and their condition -- linger a little longer to pay silent respects, or quiet prayers, and place flags at veterans' gravesites. 
Perhaps more chapters of organizations such as the Ohio Genealogical Society will take stock of their county's cemeteries and embark on documenting them with new transcriptions of grave marker inscriptions to update those that were taken many years ago.

For Further Information:

Sharing below:
History and WPA Maps of the Ferris and Wilcox Cemeteries 
in Franklin County, Ohio:
"The Ferris and Wilcox Cemetery Schematics"
"A Link to the Past"
Sample WPA Cemetery Plat Maps below:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"Akron Vet Seeks Help Finding Final Resting Places of Vietnam Warriors"

Sharing this news story from the "Akron Beacon Journal" /Ohio.com.:  

"It’s been nearly a decade since Vietnam veteran Howland Davis embarked on his personal mission to find the final resting places of the 175 Summit County men who died during the war in which he served.
But nine warriors are still not located, and now the 75-year-old Akron man is asking for some help to finish his spreadsheet.
“We just feel it’s another way to honor these veterans,” Davis said.
The project was spun off from a 2008 project of the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society that resulted in a database listing all known veterans buried in Summit County. The database — which was issued on a compact disc but is not online — included some 77,000 people stretching back to the Revolutionary War.
In 2009, Davis took over maintenance of the list, adding new information as it became available. He also expanded the list to include interments at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, since so many local veterans were choosing to be buried at that Wayne County site.
But to Davis, there were some glaring holes in his database.
There are 175 names of Summit County residents killed in the Vietnam War on a memorial on the south wall of the City and County Safety Building, facing University Avenue between High Street and Broadway.
Nine of them remain blank on his spreadsheet under the column for cemeteries.
Davis said it’s possible some of these vets never had their remains recovered, or that they were cremated and scattered or held by family members.
These are the nine veterans listed on the memorial wall for whom Davis has no known final resting place:
• John Barness, death date unknown.
• Peter Bingham (or Bigham), died Aug. 28, 1966.
• John F. Brzuski, died June 13, 1968.
• Ronald M. Cantor (or Canter), died Dec. 9, 1965.
• Robert L. Collins, died Sept. 29, 1967.
• Donald Davidson Jr. (or Ronald L. Davidson), of Hudson, died Aug. 5, 1968.
• Billy C. Deweese, of Barberton, died Jan. 25, 1966.
• George T. Walker, died May 24, 1971.
• Charles E. Wilcox, died in 1970.
Davis said he’s looked for information online, including the Vietnam “Virtual Wall” and the Find-A-Grave website, but to no avail.
Anyone with information is invited to send details to info@summitogs.org with the subject line “Vietnam Veterans.”
Davis has good reason for being partial to the Vietnam vets. He served in the U.S. Army in 1967 and 1968, and was in Saigon for the military campaign famously known as the Tet Offensive.
Davis, New York City-born, ended up in Akron after the war, an unemployed engineer with a job offer from B.F. Goodrich. He also worked at General Tire and then Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. before retiring.
After a decade of researching cemetery sites, Davis is ready to put this project to bed. But he can’t rest until his list is complete, he said.
“I’m a little OCD,” he quipped, then added, “or CDO. We call it CDO so the letters are in alphabetical order.”
Paula Schleis can be reached at 330-996-3741 or pschleis@thebeaconjournal.com."

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Mark Your Calendar for Sunday, April 22, 2018 - Beginning at 9:00AM - Restoration Project Session at the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield, Highland County, Ohio

Sharing from the Greenfield Historical Society.:
***Sunday, April 22, 2018***
Beginning at 9:00a.m.
"Since 2014, the Old Burying Ground (OBG) in Greenfield, Ohio, has been undergoing work by a group of dedicated volunteers. Throughout each year, work sessions have been held by project leaders Scott and Venus Andersen and John King.
Contact John King at the Greenfield Historical Society if you plan to attend."
John King's email address: jfking@earthlink.net
Old Burial Ground next to Travellers Rest 
"Please join other volunteers as we continue to make improvements to the Old Burial Ground. 
We'll start at 9:00 a.m. and work as long as we have the energy. 
Come help and stay as long as you can.
Join us for an upcoming work session. You can stay as long as you like. 
We will help you get started if you have not participated previously. 
Tasks range from cleaning stones, straightening stones, recording information, etc. 
We post our scheduled sessions on the Greenfield Historical Society website calendar." 
(Select photographs below 
from the 2014 Old Burying Ground Project
by Linda Jean Limes Ellis)

Link to the document for:

Upcoming! Gravestone Preservation Workshop April 13th & 14th, Old Norborne Cemetery, Martinsburg, WV conducted by Jonathan Appell

"Gravestone Preservation Workshop 
April 13th & 14th, 2018 
Martinsburg, West Virginia"
Fundraiser for the Christopher P. Robinson Scholarship Fund 
"This 2-day workshop will provide basic and advanced information and skills for people who are interested in preserving historic gravestones and cemetery monuments. The workshop will provide hands-on instruction and preservation treatments required on stone or markers located in Old Norborne Cemetery. 

April 14th: Will focus on advanced techniques used in the preservation of a significant angel figure which has been severely damaged. Work will include replacing/attaching broken pieces, pinning, mortar and epoxy repairs, and composite stone repairs. 

April 8th: Will focus on the basic cemetery preservation techniques and will focus on cleaning, resetting and realignment. Additional composite repairs will be completed from previous days work.
The event is raising funds for the Christopher P Robinson International Preservation Trades Exchange Scholarship which will fund preservationists to travel overseas to expand their skills and knowledge. The instructors are donating there time and services, & Atlas Preservation is donating all supplies.

* Moss Rudley: National Park Service, Historic Preservation Training Center 

* Jonathan Appell: Atlas Preservation Inc.

* Cost : One Day $100, Two Day $185.00. Lunch will be provided. 
* Contact Info: Moss Rudley: mossrudley@yahoo.com phone: 304-261-1748 or Jon Appell: jwappell@gmail.com phone- 860-558-2785
* Registration/ Payment:: ptn.org, or checks made to PTN co/ CRMSF, or pay at event

Treatments that will be conducted:

* Gravestone cleaning will be discussed, demonstrated & performed. Fragile stones can be harmed if cleaned aggressively. Safe cleaning techniques will be conducted.

* Re-setting of a tablet-stone, which is badly leaning, and or in a sunken condition.

* We will disassemble and then re-construct a multi-piece monument. This will involve discussion on some material options. The process includes re-leveling the base stone, removal of all joining material, applying boding materials, lowering upper element into base stone safely, and properly re-grading around the stone.

* The attendees will also learn how to join broken gravestone fragments together employing stone epoxy, clamping and bracing techniques and options.

* We will discuss the pros and cons of drilling and employing blind pinning.
* An overhead, lifting tripod will be assembled and employed. We will discuss slings and rigging options, and then rig and lift a large monument of some type, which is in need or re-setting due to being unstable or is already fallen.

* Over view materials & process involved in replacing eroded or lost stone with composite infill material. This includes preparation, application, curing of mortars, color matching, etc.

* The process and potential need for consolidation of weak and decayed gravestones will be explained. Problems associated with sealing gravestones will be discussed."

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

In Ohio - Warning Cemetery Vandalism is a Felony

Thanking the NecroTourist for sharing this photograph of this 
"Cemetery Vandalism is a Felony" Sign
That is installed at the Woodlawn Cemetery
In Zanesville, Muskingum County, Ohio. 

(A) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to an occupied structure or any of its contents.


(1) No person shall knowingly cause physical harm to property that is owned or possessed by another, when either of the following applies:

(a) The property is used by its owner or possessor in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation, and the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is one thousand dollars or more;

(b) Regardless of the value of the property or the amount of damage done, the property or its equivalent is necessary in order for its owner or possessor to engage in the owner's or possessor's profession, business, trade, or occupation.

(2) No person shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to property that is owned, leased, or controlled by a governmental entity. A governmental entity includes, but is not limited to, the state or a political subdivision of the state, a school district, the board of trustees of a public library or public university, or any other body corporate and politic responsible for governmental activities only in geographical areas smaller than that of the state.

(C) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly cause serious physical harm to any tomb, monument, gravestone, or other similar structure that is used as a memorial for the dead; to any fence, railing, curb, or other property that is used to protect, enclose, or ornament any cemetery; or to a cemetery.

(D) No person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly cause physical harm to a place of burial by breaking and entering into a tomb, crypt, casket, or other structure that is used as a memorial for the dead or as an enclosure for the dead.

(E) Whoever violates this section is guilty of vandalism. Except as otherwise provided in this division, vandalism is a felony of the fifth degree that is punishable by a fine of up to two thousand five hundred dollars in addition to the penalties specified for a felony of the fifth degree in sections 2929.11 to 2929.18 of the Revised Code. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is seven thousand five hundred dollars or more but less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars, vandalism is a felony of the fourth degree. If the value of the property or the amount of physical harm involved is one hundred fifty thousand dollars or more, vandalism is a felony of the third degree.

(F) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Cemetery" means any place of burial and includes burial sites that contain American Indian burial objects placed with or containing American Indian human remains.

(2) "Serious physical harm" means physical harm to property that results in loss to the value of the property of one thousand dollars or more.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 86, §1, eff. 9/30/2011.

Effective Date: 09-30-1998

Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.29, HB 86, §4

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Sharing From the "Marietta Times" - March 31, 2018 - The Noble County Genealogy Chapter Seeks Help Updating Their Cemetery Books

Sharing this announcement:

"A cemetery inscription discussion will be held at 11 a.m. April 7 at the Caldwell Public annex. 

The event is open to those in the community who have a desire to help the Noble County Genealogy Chapter update the cemetery books and walk the cemeteries to see the added stones there. 

Those interested can help by typing up the existing books to make them digital, by going to the cemetery or by proofreading the typed product. Discussion will also be about symbols and other items found on the tombstones that need to be added to the books."