Please come join local historic cemetery wanderers and preservationists in a volunteer spring clean up event at Kinney's Family Cemetery in Portmouth, Ohio on April 28, 2018 at about 12:30pm to about 3:30pm. We will be clearing out brush, branches, leaves and debris to help maintain this awesome historically rich site! Located at the top of Waller Street and 24th in Portsmouth, it is a small climb to the site, which is surrounded by a brick wall. There are graves within and without the brick enclosure and we will be working to clean as much of the winter's leavings as we can. See the Facebook page A Grave Site: Cemetery Photographs by BAWS for more information!
Experimentation with photographs of wooden pencils. With the prolific use of the keyboard, we may sometimes forget the joy of writing with a wooden pencil...the sound of the words presenting themselves on paper, and the feel of the graphite expending itself with your thoughts.
While in Athen, Ohio, the home of Ohio University, for our sons' rehearsals and concert for District Concert Band, my friends and I visited the old Athens Lunatic Asylum. More recently known as The Ridges, the main asylum building now houses an art gallery, The Kennedy Museum of Art, classrooms, an auditorium and other offices. While the wings where patients would have been housed are closed to the public and reportedly in disrepair, the main area was beautiful and brightly lit. According to online sources, the Athens Lunatic Asylum was a mental hospital from 1874 to 1993. Patients cared for at the facility included children, Civil War veterans, those with mental disabilities, and violent criminals with mental disabilities, as well as those who, today, had "mental illnesses" that medicine would now consider absurd reasons for institutionalization. Lobotomies were performed at the facility, as well as other now-discredited treatment procedures, and famous inmates included Billy Mulligan, the subject of the famous book, "The Minds of Billy Mulligan," by Daniel Keyes. Online sources state that the site was overcrowded with more inmates than were intended for the space, as well as being known for supposed paranormal sitings and activity.
Men and women were housed in separate wings that spanned out from the main center building. Built in 1868, the structure's architecture was based on the Kirkbride Plan; the main center structure held the offices, rooms and common areas, while the extensive wings held the male wards on the left, and the right, the female wards. Many inmate-patients were buried in an on-site cemetery on the property, each stone marked with numbers rather than names, although there are many military markers as well as personal markers that accompany their corresponding numbered stone. There were also burials throughout the wooded areas on the site, and those are being moved to the main cemetery as they are found. The cemeteries at the Ridges hold at least 1,975 souls and are well-maintained on a beautiful hill. Records exist to match the stone number with a loved-one.
As seen below, the structure is overwhelming and beautiful, as well as intimidating. A beautiful early spring day, I was grateful for the opportunity to visit and take some pictures of this amazingly historically rich site. For more information, as this is a very brief synopsis, please search, "The Ridges of Athens, Ohio," or visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens_Lunatic_Asylum, or other sites. Thank you to my great friends, The Gilberts, who took me and did not leave me there.
I spent a couple hours on this lovely early spring day, again, in Kinney's Family Cemetery. The site has two main areas; one is enclosed within a brick wall (fallen or gone in places), while the other main burial area is outside the enclosure to the left of the entrance. Today, I carefully probed the front (approximately) quarter of the enclosed area for fallen/buried stones and found what I think were at least 2 full stones and several partials or broken stone pieces. The yellow flags in the photos at the bottom of this post show the locations; I did not leave the flags and I did not recover any stones (I left the area as I found it), but this indicates to me that there are more burials here than are observable.
Indeed, there appears to be burials outside the two main burial sections. I had heard that there was a grave marker outside the main enclosure, above the back, fallen wall. I was fortunate enough to be here before the green of spring overtook the woods at the site, so I was able to find the stone. In very good shape, it says:
P. Cady. Who
Died Sept 17, 1828
Age 15 y, 8 m.
The photos of the stone are below; note the errors and corrections in the carving.
The stone for Charles Scarborough, Age 17 mos., son of J & S Clingman (died 7/31/1839) is also pictured below.
The stone for Aaron and Mary Kinney was readable today, as the sun was bright and sky blue; a much better day than my last visit. "These our parents, taught us how to live and how to die."
After the flood waters from the Ohio and the Scioto Rivers receded, my awesome sidekick, Gus, and two great friends, Eli and Arlene Allen, met at a nearly forgotten and unrecorded cemetery site about a one mile trek through fields off US Route 23 in Scioto County, Ohio. Eli had found the site and got permission from the land owner to visit and record the site. The cemetery, as near as we could tell within the overgrown area, had two sections to it; one walled-in with the majority of the markers (at least 7), and the other, bounded, but not walled, with at least 4. It is very likely that there are more burials at this quiet, out of the way place.
The walled section contained: Kitty M. Mastin, 2/11/1813-7/31/1842; Lucy S. Masten (that is spelling on stone), died 9/16/1838 aged 24; Mrs. Rebecca Mastin, consort of C.T. Mastin, died 3/20/1834 aged 61; Charles T. Mastin, died 12/2/1843, age 71(?), 11m, 17d; Turner M. Mastin, 5/25/1797-11/15/1847; Ellen S. Mastin, 10/22/1818-10/5/1847; Sarah T. Miller, 1836-1874(?). Thank you to Gus for recording each stone.
In the other section, four stones: Jesse, son of J & M Crites, died 1846(?) age 6 yrs, 2(?) m, 2o d; Mary, daughter of J & M Crites, died 8/20/1842 aged 8(?) mos.; unknown, died aged 28 years, 8m, 6d, 9/30/1844; James Huston, died 1842. Jesse, as well as Mary and the unknown burial, were nearly lost beneath detritus; Arlene and Eli exposed them so they can be recorded.
Very grateful to the land owner for permission and to Eli and Arlene for the great afternoon in the sun.
After being trapped in the house with (thankfully) a light case of the flu and the snowy, frigid weather, my dog and I went for a walk at Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth, OH. Dogs are not allowed in the cemetery, so we enjoyed walking along the outside of the fence and watching the sun go down. It was a lovely 60 degrees and it was so nice to feel a little sun! These shots are taken outside the bounds of Greenlawn; the beautiful fence encloses the resting places of above 23,400 souls.
My son and I routinely go on wandering drives; we call them, "which way? right or left?" The purpose is to get hopelessly lost and happen upon interesting things. Today we drove past several old cemeteries; even with the small amount of snow, my little car was still unable to get into them. But, we were able to go briefly go into Givens Chapel Cemetery in Pike County, OH. A cemetery with above 600 graves (according to FindAGrave), it has both recent and old burials; one I saw was dated 1842. It was 17 degrees and painfully cold, so unfortunately we were not able to stay long, but I plan to go back, as I want to spend some time with the old stones there, as well as find the other cemeteries I could not stop at today.
Happy New Year to all and be safe.