Archive for September 13th, 2010

Until I started visiting cemeteries, I didn’t realize how changing the real estate could be. When you don’t go to cemeteries much, you just assume that people die, they are buried (or their ashes are interred) in a cemetery, and there they stay, forever.

But cemeteries are in fact far more dynamic. Particularly in the 19th and early 20 centuries, cemeteries would be closed and their inhabitants dug up and reburied elsewhere, with or without the markers they had at the original cemeteries. But even if the cemetery remains open, a family might move their relative to a more prominent location. At Erie Street Cemetery, you can find this elegant monument to the Case family.

But the Cases aren’t there.



The Cases (Leonard Sr. and Elizabeth) were instrumental to the creation of Erie Steet Cemetery, as they sold the land to the city trustees for $1 in the 1820s. Leonard Case, Sr., was an important businessman, and philanthropist in 19th century Cleveland, and when he and his wife died, they were buried in the same land they had sold to the city.

Leonard and Elizabeth Case’s sons, Leonard and William, continued his the family tradition of philanthropic work.  Leonard Jr. gave the family name to the Case School of Applied Science that he founded, now part of Case Western Reserve University.

At point, the family was moved from Erie Street Cemetery to more modern and fashionable Lake View Cemetery, although I have not been able to determine who made these arrangements.  The Lake View Cemetery Association was formed in 1869 and the first plots were sold in 1870, so Leonard Case Jr. could have decided to move the family there before his death in 1880, but his name is carved on the Erie Street marker.






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