Archive for April 24th, 2010

I took a trip today to East Cleveland Township Cemetery, and it was beautiful.  There were beds of violets  flourishing everywhere, and a few of the graves had other flowers, like tulips, blooming.



I hope this photograph gives some concept of the thickness of the flowers on the ground.
Bed of flowers

Violets are one of my favorite flowers. I have never seen them in such proliferation.

Hier ruht Rosie

I took a lot of wider shots than usual today to capture the flowers framing the grave markers.

Sweetheart Dietz

I did take a few photos of just the flowers themselves.


The randomness of some of the bulb flowers like tulips makes me wonder if they were placed before some of the restoration efforts. Or maybe the flowers shifted over time.

Lonely tulip

Gray family

Read Full Post »

East Cleveland Township Cemetery, previously discussed here, can be a depressing cemetery to visit because of the neglect and disarray. There is a large banner here now, proclaiming that the East Cleveland Township Cemetery Foundation has restoration work in progress, and I hope that endeavor is successful.
Born 1926 Died 1931
The old graveyard feels abandoned and isolated. Part of that is simply a matter of geography – the cemetery is hidden, with only a small driveway off East 118th Street and a sign to proclaim its existence at all. The back of the cemetery ends with the concrete base of a railroad bridge, and the trains rush rattling by with frequency. The rest of the cemetery is walled off by its own fence, which borders on dozens of residential backyards. It is also often cold. Shaded by old trees and the railroad overpass, not a lot of sun falls directly into the cemetery, even at noon. One spring Saturday, I spent the morning taking photographs in Euclid Cemetery and then drove over to East Cleveland Township to do the same thing. The thermometer in my car was reading 42 degrees Fahrenheit, but the quiet, dark graveyard was so cold that I could see my breath and I had to stop taking photos within about 30 minutes because my fingers were freezing.
Anna Mae Laurie
The reason for the neglect is stark and simple: when the cemetery was founded in 1859 (some tombstones predate this year), it was outside the boundaries of the City of Cleveland in East Cleveland Township. Cleveland stopped at East 55th Street, the cemetery sits at East 118tth. But as Cleveland absorbed the little municipalities clustered around it, East Cleveland Cemetery was swallowed up, too. Nobody claimed the cemetery, and the capriciousness of nature was allowed to combine with human vandals to speed its decline. Some ravages of time will never be erased – nothing can replace the porcelain portraits fallen or pried from the stones – the faces of the deceased perhaps forever lost.
Stefan Shick

Helen Sluka

Some stones are irrevocably broken or obliterated. Grave markers appear to have been relocated – the number of them arranged in little circles appears improbable.
Philip Petri

The cemetery is showing some signs of revival with the Cemetery Association at work – a plainly new shed stands in one corner, and some of the fallen monuments have been righted, many of the veterans have new tombstones and there is of course the banner. But there have been other clean-ups before. The cemetery seems to be withholding its trust, waiting to see if this new project will bear fruit. Let’s hope that this piece of history can be preserved.

Seth Cogswell Baldwin (more…)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: