Archive for April 18th, 2010

Adams Street Cemetery Gate - Berea, Ohio

Adams Street Cemetery sits next to an American Legion post just as Adams Street in Berea makes an almost 90 degree turn. The cemetery is inactive and there are clearly many more graves than standing tombstones. The day we visited, there was a light snowfall, which revealed the neat lines of rectangles where graves unmarked by headstones lay. You can see some of them in the background of this photo:

Damaged Monument

The cemetery is fairly clean and free of trash and debris, but too much was probably already lost before anyone attempted to preserve it. Time and the elements have eroded and broken a number of the remaining monuments.

Broken tombstone

Louise Behnke tombstone

Whitney Monument

Past preservation efforts are in evidence here. There is a plaque erected by the Boy Scouts that explains the fate of some of the cemetery monuments: they were made of the sandstone found locally. Sandstone can be quite durable, but if moisture works its way in between the layers, they can separate and flake off.

Garden Dedication

There are also new stones for a number of the military veterans.

William Carman tombstone

The old tombstones for some of these veterans were still lying next to their replacements.

Old William Carman tombstone

Most of the burials are 19th century or very early 20th century, but there are a few later burials, including one from 1977.

Robert W. Turanchik, 1946-1977

Baldwin Wallace College has an ongoing project to preserve the cemetery and the history contained therein – more information here. I’m sure we’ll visit Adams Street Cemetery again.

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My great-great Uncle Ralph rests in East Cleveland Township Cemetery. Only one person I have ever known met him, and by the time I was old enough to have asked Great Grandma about her family, her dementia was so severe that I couldn’t have trusted the answers. I have one photo of him, in a barely salvaged photo of my great-great grandparents and their children that is so poor that it has been reinforced with line drawings.

Allis Family

Everything I know about him apart from his name, I have learned from sources outside my own family. He’s shown up on a few genealogy websites, and one day, after realizing they had him listed as dying in Cleveland, I put his name in the Cleveland Public Library’s Necrology File, and discovered that he was buried in East Cleveland Township Cemetery.The Cemetery’s burial cards are partially scanned, and from them I found more.   He was born in December of 1892 and died in 1920 at the age of 27 of tuberculosis after spending time in the Warrensville Sanitarium. He left behind a wife named Hilda, but no one seems to know where she went after his death.

I’ve been to the Cemetery where Uncle Ralph is buried twice now, but I haven’t found him. I haven’t even looked really hard. Now the first time I went to East Cleveland Township Cemetery, I didn’t know anything more than Uncle Ralph was buried there, so I’ll give myself a pass. But the second time, I had looked at a map and had details right down to the lot number. But I didn’t look.

I’m afraid.

I’m scared I’m going to go to the cemetery with the map, find the right spot, look down, and find nothing there. I don’t want him to be lying in an unmarked grave, and I don’t have the financial wherewithal to do anything about it right now if he is. I already know that my great great grandfather Lavergne Cook rests in an unmarked grave in Fort Junction, Colorado.

I’m dreading finding out the same thing about my great-grandmother’s beloved brother.

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