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, October 23, 2018

Storm complicates Fall Cleanup news story from the Urbana Daily Citizen - Champaign County, Ohio

Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana, Ohio  on Find A Grave

See Tasha Wilkins public videos posted on 
Facebook about her visit
 to the Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana, Ohio.  

October 31st, 2018 will be more than Halloween this year in Greenfield, Ohio - It will be another cemetery preservation work session at the Old Burying Ground!


"Volunteer Session - October 21, 2018"

"It's amazing what a difference a few dedicated volunteers can make! Beginning at 8 a.m. again (although we soon began to rethink that decision), Scott Andersen, John King, Jackie Doles, and Mike Anderson were successful in repairing and straightening/leveling some very large and heavy headstones. Venus Andersen also stopped by to offer encouragement, but due to the cold temperatures did not do any cleaning of tombstones. 

Many thanks to ALL the volunteers who help throughout the years making this a very successful project.

More sessions will be planned for the future to continue this massive effort. If you would like to participate, check our website calendar for the next scheduled session."

 Sharing a few photos below of the Old Burying Ground in Greenfield -- often called "OBG" by the volunteers who spend a great deal of time there because the transformative restoration work they are doing is now in its fifth year!  

The Greenfield Historical Society volunteers are always happy when earnest and eager folks join them as volunteers to help clean, repair, and reset grave markers and monuments.  
So, please keep that in mind!  

While the old adage of "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true; but to fully savor the scope of the amazing progress made by these dedicated volunteers, the photos themselves can be best considered as a good lead-up to being at the Old Burying Ground and enjoying the remarkable view in person -- seeing an early Ohio cemetery that has regained its respect, dignity, and rightful standing as one of Greenfield's crowning jewels.  It just doesn't get any better than that!


Monday, October 15, 2018

Sharing this story from the Lorain MorningJournal - "Lorain County veterans are taken care of in death"

Lorain County veterans are taken care of in death

"Lorain County commissioners, during their Oct. 10 meeting, kicked in $2,000 for a pair of funerals.

Each board of county commissioners in the state is required by law to pay up to $1,000 toward the funeral expenses of indigent veterans of the U.S. military.

This may seem odd for a government entity, but Commissioner Ted Kalo said they are happy to do it.

“It doesn’t bother us in the least,” Kalo said. “It’s the least we can do, as government, to make sure they have a proper burial.

"That’s not even an arguable position. It’s the right thing to do.”

Mary Misencik Andras, funeral director and owner of Andras Crematory and Funeral Home, 3900 Broadway in Lorain, said the process of getting a veteran’s funeral paid for begins when she gets the call notifying her about the death, as many who are indigent have not made prior arrangements for their funeral.

“Usually, when they’re dying, they’re in a facility, so there’s not a whole lot of planning,” Misencik Andras said.

It is the responsibility of the funeral home to fill out an application and prove that the deceased is an honorably discharged veteran and they are indigent.

“Typically, their only means of income is Social Security or disability," Misencik Andras said. "So, if that’s their only income, then they really are indigent.

“Generally, they know if someone is a veteran or not, or you go through the county recorder’s office and check if they filed their discharge papers.”

Misencik Andras said because the county only will reimburse the funeral homes for $1,000, most indigent veterans are cremated and then interred at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville, which is federally-owned.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website said some veteran benefits include a grave site in any of the 136 national cemeteries with available space, as well as “opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family.”

State law, though, does not specify where the burial must be made, except to say that it must not be a “used exclusively for the burial of paupers and criminals.”

The funeral homes then send the application to the Lorain County Veterans Service Commission, which then processes the application and documents.

Martha Garreau, administrative assistant for the Veterans Service Commission, said the agency processed 13 applications this year, 13 in 2017, 12 in 2016, 16 in 2015 and 10 in 2014.
“As we’re going, each year, it becomes more and more,” Garreau said.

From there, the applications are given to the county administration where they are further processed and presented to county commissioners for a vote.

Lorain County Budget Director Lisa Hobart said she time stamps the application then gives it to Theresa Upton, the county clerk, who places it on the commissioners’ agenda for a vote.

Misencik Andras said the applications are almost never denied.

The county then reimburses the funeral home, a process that usually takes about a month, she said.

“You never want someone that’s served our country, who put their life on the line for our freedoms, to not have a proper burial,” Kalo said. “It’s really important for our society that we make sure those men and women are taken care of for a final resting place.”

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 21, 2018 for the next Old Burying Ground work session - Beginning at 8:00a.m. in Greenfield, Ohio

The Greenfield Historical Society just announced the date for their next work session (labor of love session!) at the Old Burying Ground, and it will be Sunday, October 21, 2018 beginning at 8:00a.m. 

Check out the Calendar for these announcements as well. 

3Old 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 8 a.m. and work as long as we have the energy. Come help and stay as long as you can."


Browse through Past Events to learn more about the progress made in each session.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Spotlighting the September 30, 2018 Old Burying Ground Work Session with photographs from regular volunteer, Jacquelyn Doles

It is my pleasure to share these wonderful photographs below taken by Jacquelyn Doles, one of Greenfield Historical Society's regular work session volunteers, who has participated in many of these hands-on cemetery preservation events at the Old Burying Ground over the past five years.  Her photographs were taken during the work process of the September 30, 2018 work session. 

Additional photographs can be seen from the September 30, 2018 work session on the Greenfield Historical Society's website posted on their "Past Events" section under the "Look Back" tab at the top of the main page.   
It is such a treat to see these photographs that "Jackie" Doles has shared.  She has cleaned several grave markers over the past five years, and she has been a regular participant along with Scott Andersen, Venus Andersen, John King, and Michael Lee Anderson who are the mainstays of this all-volunteer group.  They are steadily progressing with their total restoration and preservation of the Old Burying Ground (affectionately known as the "OBG" by the volunteers) which is adjacent to the Travellers Rest in Greenfield, Ohio.  

from Jacqueline Doles:
"The Moon family stones all line up neatly in 
row like good little soldiers. 

Need a little scrubbing and they will be great."


from Jacquelyn Doles:
These stones were broken when the big tree fell during a storm. We are not sure if the tree has any hidden surprises
(stones swallowed during its growth. Lots of stacked stones around its base, however, as is the case in many cemeteries.


Community rallies to paint Greenlawn Cemetery

Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth, Ohio.