Posts Tagged ‘harvard grove cemetery’

Gammon (2)

The most common fraternal symbol you will find in cemeteries is that of the Freemasons. You can find it on tombstones dating from the Revolutionary War era to ones that were set in the last year. The masonic symbol is a architect’s set of compasses and a square, with or without a G in the space created in the center, as I’ve shown on the Gammon stone at Highland Park Cemetery in Shaker Heights.

These monuments are in Harvard Grove Cemetery.



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I don’t often encounter anyone else at all when I am visiting smaller cemeteries to explore and photograph – large cemeteries that encourage tourist traffic are different. Sometimes there will be mourners visiting a particular gravestone or family plot, but most of the time I find myself completely alone. Occasionally, though, I will see evidence that someone else has been here before, motivated as I am to preserve the past and the memory of the dead.


An unknown person took the time to create this sign, marking Morrison J. Cannell as a Civil War soldier. Private Cannell had only been in the 7th Ohio Volunteer Infantry for five months and one week when he died at Newburg, Ohio, according to A History of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. If the information on this site is accurate, he was 20 at the time he enlisted and was part of Company A, the Cleveland Zoave Light Guards, which would have put him under the command of William Creighton and Orrin Crane, the two highest ranking Clevelanders to die in the Civil War (buried side by side at Woodland Cemetery). That he was in Company A is verified by the placement of his name on the 7th OVI monument in Woodland Cemetery(possibly misspelled). There are no notations in the records I have seen that reference his death as resulting from a particular battle, and the personal site dedicated to the history of the 7th OVI attributes it to disease.

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Cleveland takes St. Patrick’s Day seriously.  Very seriously. We host the largest parade in the state of Ohio, which also ranks among the largest in the United States. And all you have to do is visit some local cemeteries to discover why.

J. Monahan is buried in Erie Street Cemetery, and, like a fair number of Irish immigrants, had that heritage engraved into his headstone.
J. Monahan

Bridget Rogan came to Cleveland from Ireland by way of Ashtabula County, Pennsylvania. She is buried in Harvard Grove Cemetery.


Michael Raleigh came from County Limerick in Ireland. He rests in Mater Dolorosa Cemetery.


Here is a monograph on the history of Irish-Americans in Cleveland.

Of course, all the stones I’ve shown you are the ones that proudly proclaim a connection to the Irish homeland. There are also plenty of stones that make no mention of origin but the names engraved there suggest Irish ancestry.

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, I set myself on a scavenger hunt. I wanted to see how many hearts I could find in cemeteries. I found so many that I’ve split the results of my hunt into 4 different posts between now and Valentine’s Day. The most common thing that I found was simple, single heart-shaped tombstones.

I found heart-shaped tombstones in Harvard Grove Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio.



This tombstone at Union Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio, is heart-shaped.


I was able to find two heart tombstones from my small collection of photos from Markillie and St. Mary’s Cemeteries in Hudson..



This lichen-covered heart tombstone is in Kirtland Historic North Cemetery.


East Cleveland Township Cemetery has a number of these tombstones.

Luisa Meister

Hearts may not be the first thing you think about when you hear the word cemetery, but they are certainly there.

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I found something interesting on some tombstones at Harvard Grove Cemetery when I visited. On some of the really old tombstones, there was this little plaque.


The “Faith in Every Footstep” plaques were part of a 1997 program of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). The year-long celebration focused on pioneers of the church and marked the 150th anniversary of the “pioneer trek from Winter Quarters, Nebraska, to the Salt Lake Valley.” A brief crash course in Latter Day Saint (often referred to as Mormon) history will tell you that the church started in the late 1820s in New York, when a man named Joseph Smith, Jr., stated that he had received golden plates containing the early religious history of pre-European North America from an angel. He published his translation of the plates in the Book of Mormon and became the leader of the new religious movement. The new church had difficulty finding a suitable place to settle and often clashed with locals. Spurred by internal conflict and external strife with those not part of the religion, the church established several temporary settlements and then abandoned them before ultimately reaching the Salt Lake Valley of what would be come Utah.

These tombstones must mark the burials of LDS church members who were in some way pioneers. The only name I could make out was William W. Williams.


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For whatever reason, I am looking more at lambs lately when I visit cemeteries.


Lambs are always sad for me, as they are a commonly accepted symbol of a child’s grave in American culture.


But even in the most well-maintained cemetery, you will find lambs like these. There is something about the particular shape of lambs (and probably the materials they are carved from) that makes them very susceptible to damage.


In my walk of Harvard Grove, that covered about 1/3 of the graves, I didn’t find a single intact lamb sculpture.

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As I mentioned in my introductory post about the cemetery, Harvard Grove is not in the finest shape.

Someone took the time to prop this broken cross up against this monument.


This cross has lost one of its horizontal arms.


Even with weathering, this cross is one of the best-preserved I saw all day – at least it is intact!


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Harvard Grove Cemetery</a

Polly Ingersoll


Recently we went to Harvard Grove Cemetery, which is on the east side of Cleveland, south of the larger Woodland Cemetery and nearby Slavic Village. It’s one of Cleveland’s older cemeteries still in use. There is a single gate and single road in, which loops around in the back half of the cemetery to bring you back out the same way. Despite its name, the cemetery has no entrance on Harvard Avenue, only on Lansing Avenue. The other thing I noticed, which probably makes Harvard Grove a typical American cemetery is that is has almost no famous graves – if you search for the cemetery on Find-a-Grave, the only even “somewhat famous” person that the website pulls up is the founder of a chewing gum company. Even though it is still in use and relatively accessible, Harvard Grove seems forgotten – no one even seems to make a big deal of its six Revolutionary War veterans, the most buried in any Cleveland cemetery.




The cemetery has suffered at the hands of nature – there are a number of trees that appear to have weathered lightning strikes – and vandals – a number of graves had been scribbled on, and the number of toppled monuments seemed out of proportion with other cemeteries of similar size to simply be the ravages of time. Like Woodland, the main road is paved (some of it quite recently) but the side roads for maintenance are grassy ruts. Unlike other cemeteries (Monroe Street and Woodland), the gates are intact, but badly rusted.


Harvard Grove

Harvard Grove

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Today is a photo post in honor of the season. Instead of taking photographs yesterday as I had originally planned, I spent the day waiting for a phone call. My brother had a serious accident Friday, but it appears he is on the way to recovery. We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers.

Aunt and Uncle - Maple Shade Cemetery


Cipra - Harvard Grove Cemetery



Towner - Maple Shade Cemetery



Maple Shade Cemetery



Harvard Grove Cemetery

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