Exploring almost forgotten gravesites in 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."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Spotlighting the Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cleveland and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland

Today's Cleveland "Plain Dealer" newspaper has a feature article entitled:  "Honoring the Dead with an Act of Kindness" that is reproduced on their website of "Cleveland.com" under the title: 

"Neglected Jewish cemeteries to get loving care" that is well written and presented by Roxanne Washington with photographs by Lisa DeJong, both of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

I submitted my comments online about the story and will also share them here.  Also, below is a link to the Jewish Federation of Cleveland's website section dedicated to their cemetery preservation campaign where additional information can be found about this wonderful and important cemetery preservation project that is unfolding at the Jewish cemeteries in the Greater Cleveland area. 

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(My comment posted online below)
Sadly, the photographs tell this story of the reality at these Cleveland area cemeteries that also exists at many cemeteries in Ohio and every state in America today whether the cemeteries are small or large; urban or rural.  The deteriorated conditions stem from several reasons that include the negative elements of time and weather, accidents from fallen tree limbs and trees, and no regular grounds maintenance.  But, none are more disheartening than the aftermath that comes from the hands of humans with their savage vandalism and thefts which keeps happening at cemeteries across America.

Unfortunately, cemetery maintenance is a local issue, and funds for their purposes are often meager or non-existent.  There are some cemeteries in Ohio that solely depend on donations for handling basic mowing chores because their township levies did not pass.

The Ohio Revised Codes that pertain to cemeteries provide few provisions to protect them. Inactive/abandoned (non-registered) cemeteries receive even less protection mandates than do active registered cemeteries in the state.

I invite those who are seriously interested in cemetery preservation in the state of Ohio and/or who desire to learn the proper Do No Harm methods and proper products to use for cleaning, repairing, and re-setting gravestones, to ask to join "Preserving Ohio's Cemeteries" which is a closed Facebook Group.

It is a reality that cemeteries are an integral part of the communities where they are located.  Too often though the living either pass by them and ignore them or perhaps do not even know they exist once plant life have had free reign to overtake and obscure them. Thankfully, because of articles like this one, however, more people are becoming aware of this ongoing quiet crisis that exists in what should be well kept landscapes where those whose lives came to a close had once chosen to rest in eternal peace, but now decades later have become places largely lost and forgotten.
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“Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals."  William Gladstone.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Walnut Creek Cemetery - Perry Township - Fayette County, Ohio - July 17, 2015


 


  Views above of the Harvey Limes gravestone both after cleaning and beneath it taken before cleaning.
 
 
 

  William Limes military marker below.  
The first photograph was taken following cleaning and the photograph beneath it was taken prior to cleaning.
 

 

 



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reminder: Upcoming Hands-On Cemetery Preservation Workshop - Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. -- Sponagle Lutheran Cemetery, Sugar Grove, Fairfield County, Ohio


Hand tools to bring with you can include:  

Soft bristle brushes and plastic scrapers.  

Also, knee pads or a small stool might be helpful as well.   
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"Sponagle Lutheran Church is going to provide the lunch. 

We will have cold water and cold drinks for everyone. Lets all hope its a nice day but Mark said the class goes on rain or shine so throw in some rain gear just in case.

Call or Email Dave Nessley for directions or information. dnessley@aol.com 740-746-8043"