Sheep Pen Cemetery photographs courtesy of Scott Andersen - September, 2011 and April, 2012

"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."

Thursday, November 27, 2014


As we stop to give thanks today, let us also honor and remember those who gave us our freedoms.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014 is "Wreaths Across America" day.   

Please take a moment to visit their website and learn more about it.  Thank you.

"It's not too late to sponsor wreaths at a participating WAA location near you. Our Volunteer Location Coordinators at over 1,000 locations nationwide, are working hard to organize their wreath ceremonies. Find the locations for your state and sponsor a wreath at this link,;jsessionid=83C6CB7B701F8676F8C76CD8828EA0A9.app261a?pagename=event_search#.Uzrmla1dVch This photo of the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, OH was shared with us by Don Pavlic. Thank you Don!"

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sharing a News Story from West Virginia - "Historian Explains Why It's Important to Preserve Your Nearby Graveyards"

Sharing a story from West Virginia Public Broadcasting.  

When I read stories like this one that was recently online and there is an option to post a comment, I often do so.  

I always hope my comments boost support for those featured in these types of stories -- people and organizations who are striving to properly preserve cemeteries and/or conserve gravestones.  

I think offering positive comments enhances the value of these published stories and brings greater awareness of the plight so many of America's cemeteries face, particularly the early pioneer burial grounds that are now often forgotten and left to fall into further deterioration.  

So, please if you feel so inclined and have a few extra moments in your day, lend your written support through posted comments in response to stories such as this one.  Your contribution will be an inspiration to other readers. 

Below are my comments to this story:
Many of the stories behind the stones can be found in news paper accounts of the day; in headlines, obituaries, obscure 'tidbit' type stories of who went to visit who, etc.  Also, in some states like Ohio where I live, many counties in the 1880s into the early 1900s published county histories that included biographical information about individuals, families, churches, businesses, and cemeteries that have gone into reprint editions in more recent years.  Some of these publications are offered online too.  A gravestone is a tangible artifact that was erected at the site of the deceased person it was meant to identify and memorialize.  To fulfill its intended purpose it should be kept whole and as original as possible; meaning the inscription and epitaphs are clear and readable.  A gravestone has many enemies, but none more destructive than man himself.