Posts Tagged ‘relocated’

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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Lakewood Historical Society

Recently I took a side trip to the Lakewood Historical Society‘s herb garden. Seem like an odd place to go for a cemetery blogger? Not when you know that the herb garden has tombstones.

Herb garden

The six tombstones took a lengthy journey to end up here. (It looks like seven, but one monument has broken into two pieces.)

Fanny and Betsey Impett

They started out in the Wagar family cemetery, chronicling the deaths of the early pioneers of East Rockport, now known as Lakewood. The first recorded burial on the Wagar property was in 1826; the last in 1894.

The cemetery was abandoned in the 1920s and suffered from years of neglect. Tombstones were destroyed or moved when families reburied their dead in newer plots.  Eighty-four persons remained there at the time the cemetery was dismantled.
Peter and James

The remains of the pioneers these markers memorialized were exhumed in the late 1950s and 1960s to make way for construction and reburied in Lakewood Park Cemetery, but the markers did not travel with them. The markers ended up in a local park behind a service garage, subject to vandalism.
Finally, the local historical society acquired the tombstones and enshrined them in the herb garden behind the oldest stone house in the city, where they are at least more preserved and protected and can be studied.


Sarah Hall

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