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."

Monday, May 25, 2020

Monday, May 25, 2020 - Memorial Day - A Day of Remembrance honoring American's fallen heroes - All Saints Cemetery, Northfield, Summit County, Ohio

Remembering and thanking those brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf that has kept us safe and enjoying our freedoms throughout our lifetimes. 
Each year Memorial Day is the day that is set aside to honor and thank America's fallen heroes; yet knowing that in truth, we can never thank them enough.  
Praying they all rest in a richly deserved eternal peace.
Below are a few scenes from a May 25, 2020, Memorial Day, visit to All Saints Cemetery


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Sharing a current report about stalled out preservation efforts to save Lakeside Cemetery in Bay Village, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

Sharing from "WestLife" a well researched article by Alex Kamczyc describing several setbacks thwarting protective plans from being implemented for securing Bay Village's small, but hugely historic, Lakeside Cemetery.  
Lake Erie is the cemetery's 'neighbor'
to the North.
Only a few yards of disappearing earth and aging boulders down a cliff at lake level stand between the two.  
Thus, conservation measures desperately need to be undertaken soon to curb the advancement of an eroding shoreline that affects the cemetery's stability.
Complicating matters are ongoing property ownership disputes with others and project costs that need resolution first.  
Excerpt from this story.:
"The cemetery was created for Rebecca Johnson Porter and her infant son, David, after the two drowned in April 1814 while returning to their home by boat from Cleveland. Porter’s sister, Sarah Osborn, and her husband, Reuben, donated a portion of their lakefront property next to Rebecca’s home for a public cemetery. Now it’s home to several historical figures including veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I, as well as many names recognizable as Bay Village’s founding families."
The story mentions that there are 270 graves at the Lakeside Cemetery.  
Keeping good thoughts that soon we'll be reading an update offering much better news of plans moving forward that best preserve Bay Village's Lakeside Cemetery! 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

"History in the Hills: Union Cemetery notables" - Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio

Sharing a link to this insightful and history-focused story from Steubenville, Jefferson County, Ohio.:
  "History in the Hills: Union Cemetery notables"  
authored by 
Paul Zuros who is the Director of operations at Historic Fort Steuben and the Steubenville Visitors Center.
"Find a Grave" has 41,502 memorials listed for the Union Cemetery in Steubenville.  
All Cemeteries Matter!
Each cemetery holds its own unique history - no matter what its age, size, or status!
 The fascinating stories of those who came before us await our discovery.  
Learn about the triumphs and tribulations of early pioneers, veterans, doctors, teachers, and homemakers.
Gain a greater sense of how the character of your community came to be what it is today. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

From the Ohio History Connection - "Cemeteries for Genealogy Research Webinar" - Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 10:30a.m. - 12:30p.m. - Presented by Krista Horrocks - Project Reviews Manager, State Historic Preservation Office

Sharing an announcement of this upcoming free webinar:
(Click on link below:)
Advance registration required.
"Ohio History Connection"
 "Cemeteries for Genealogy Research Webinar"
Saturday July 18, 2020
 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
 "Hunting for an ancestor’s gravestone can be an exciting adventure or a frustrating series of dead ends. 
When we find our ancestor’s gravestone, we often are in awe, as it can give important birth, death, and marriage dates. 
To provide this information, cemeteries need to be preserved and be taken care of. Join cemetery expert Krista Horrocks as she explains how the gravestones and historical documentation on cemeteries provide important genealogical information, how Ohio law treats cemeteries (all 14,637 of them), and cemetery preservation.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Remembering my mother on Mother's Day 2020 - 25 years after she left me and this world behind

I can't believe it has been 25 years since spending my first Mother's Day without my mother being in my life.  

My mother, Virginia Harriet Zagorsky Limes, passed away on February 3, 1995 after suffering for 8 years from the after effects of two strokes - her first one was major and the second one was minor.  My father had died in 1988. I was their only child - a later in life baby for each.  My father died from prostate cancer that had spread to the bone that was quite painful for him to endure.  He was first afflicted with it in 1983.  So, counting up all of those years they were the worst 12 years of their lives - for dealing with severe illness.  And, in mine, for feeling helpless to at least ease their pain.
My mother and me in 1984 - 2 years before her first stroke
My mother's stroke turned her into a person essentially I had not known before.  I can say the one positive after affect for her was that she lost weight.  That might have been it.  Her first stroke left her with limited mobility on one side of her body and mentally in poor shape because dementia set in.  As time went on, she walked using a crutch but tired easily.  She never really had abundant energy it seemed to me as a child romping around wanting to play and go outside. She would need to "take a flop" after dragging the Electrolux canister vacuum cleaner up and down the house going from the back room through a hallway, kitchen, dining room, and living room before finishing up in the bedrooms.  And, when she was dusting and got tired of it she would just say "I'm going to dust the dining room table "with a lick and a promise." Of course she never told my father such things - only me. 
I'm sure we all have special memories of our mother.  Some are more endearing and heartfelt than others.  Still, a mother is unique; and she will be a unique person in our life.  Our time with her will hold its own meaning that we will carry with us the rest of ours.  
Some of us are, or were, close to our mother and for some perhaps they could say that wasn't quite so true.  Some may have never known their mother at all.  But, we know there was one or we wouldn't be here!  It sounds kind of simplistic to state that but each person's relationship with their mother is unique.

So, it is the uniqueness of mothers that I feel we can celebrate and honor because we know there will be no other person we can truly call Mother but one; the one who gave us life.  We would not be here without her being part of our world first before we even entered the one we would call our own time on earth.

These thoughts come to mind when I think of my mother and her life before I came along and afterward.  I would like to tell her "thank you" in person one more time for her sacrifices made for me so my life would be better growing up.  For all of the food she cooked and heaped up on my plate.  The clothes she picked out for me that she liked even if I would have maybe chosen something else.  She cared and wanted to do what she could to keep me safe and happy; adequately clothed and well fed!  

Please spend some time pondering the little things as well as the large momentous events that helped shape your relationship with your mother.  If she is still living tell her how you feel, and show your feelings to her.  She may have had to hide some of hers from you, but she'll be glad you shared with her to tell her that she will always be your mother; your unique mother.  One day you may not be able to do that in person.  You just might wish that you had spent more time sharing your thoughts and memories of your life with your mother when you had the chance.  Don't let the opportunity go by if you still have that chance.  You may not get another. 
My mother and me about 1952

I look up to the sky now and say "Mother are you listening?"  

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Columbus, Ohio: Green Lawn Cemetery Reclaiming Burial Plots that have been unused for 50 or more years

He interviewed Randel L. (Randy) Rogers, President of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association, regarding the cemetery's notifications of their intentions for reclamation of grave plots that have been sitting empty and unused for 50 years or more.
The notifications list includes the names of lot owners, section, lot, and space numbers.  
The lists appeared in the Classified Sections on Sunday, April 26, 2020 (page F-5), and Monday, April 27, 2020 (page C-6), of the "Columbus Dispatch" newspapers .  
"Public Notice: Green Lawn Cemetery, 1000 Greenlawn Ave., Columbus, Ohio, herby announces its intent to reclaim the below listed interment rights which have been abandoned for over 50 years."
"Claimants who can prove Next of Kin blood relationship status with the owner have 90 days from this notice to contact the cemetery at the above address or at 614.444.1123 to establish successor-in-interest rights."
147,400 memorials are listed on Find A Grave.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Sharing updates about the most recent vandalism at Lorain's Charleston Cemetery - the city's pioneer burial ground.

Several Lorain/Elyria and Cleveland news outlets are reporting updates about the most recent vandalism attack at Lorain's  earliest and most historic pioneer cemetery: 
The Charleston Cemetery on 6th Street.
(Photograph below of the entrance
to the Charleston Cemetery
 by Linda Jean Limes Ellis
October 14, 2015)
The "Elyria Chronicle-Telegram"
Elyria, Ohio
May 5, 2020
News story by Dave O'Brien

Lorain's "MorningJournal"
May 5, 2020
News story by 
Richard Payerchin
WTAM - 1100 AM Radio
May 5, 2020
Tom Moore
Description of the Charleston Cemetery from "Find A Grave" below:
"Charleston Cemetery was known as The Old Bank Street Cemetery. Where the cemetery exists right known, that part of 6th St. was called Polk St., the other half was called Bank St.
Charleston Cemetery is between 6th St. and 7th St., halfway between Oberlin Ave. and Hamilton Ave.. On 15th Sept. 1828, Quartus Gillmore, Addison Tracy and Roswell Crocker, trustees of Black River Township, paid $1.00 to Hiram Messenger for 90 squares rods of land to be used by all the inhabitants of the township as a burying ground."

Mystery Ironwork piece found at the London Cemetery in Richland County, Ohio - What is its name and purpose?

Thanking Darryl Skip MacUaid McQuate, a member of Preserving Ohio's Cemetery on Facebook, for sharing this photo and granting permission to share it here. 
A lively discussion has arisen over the name and purpose of this metal, likely ironwork, piece Darryl has found at the London Cemetery in Richland County, Ohio.  
Thus far, the general consensus is that this item can just be called a "decorative metal piece to go around a grave." 
At this point, it is not known who designed and/or constructed it.  Nor is it known whose gravesite it was meant for, or a more appropriate name for it that would fit its specific purpose if other than being decorative alone.
Photo by Darryl Skip MacUaid McQuate  

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Thanking Tim Foor of Hallowed Ground Cemetery Preservation LLC for locating the H. D. Gowey (Hartland Duportal Gowey) grave marker at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio

 Tim Foor, is a well known leading advocate for active but abandoned cemeteries in Ohio.  
Tim's qualifications for this role come from his personal experiences dealing with long-standing problems that have befallen Fairview Memorial Park in Delaware County
Tim started the "Cemetery Advocacy" Facebook Group offering support and updated information to help those impacted by the ongoing issues still affecting this once tranquil 20th Century cemetery.
 More recently, Tim has been conducting hands-on cemetery and grave marker preservation and restoration work at inactive cemeteries.  
His company is:
 Hallowed Ground Cemetery Preservation LLC.
Hallowed Ground Cemetery Preservation LLC on Facebook
One aspect of cemetery preservation is locating and unearthing grave markers long sunken out of sight.  
Tim has demonstrated his inherent ability to accomplish work of this nature quite well. 
Citing here one such example is his recent locating Hartland D. Gowey's obscured and partially buried grave marker at Oak Grove Cemetery in Delaware.
(Photos below courtesy of Tim Foor)

The overbearing Yucca plant had partially obscured the Hartland D. Gowey marker for an untold number of years - but not any longer!
My thanks to Tim for locating this marker!