Gravestones Used as Landfill

Gravestones Used as Landfill

The eroding lakeshore cliff behind a new, modern residence on Edgewater Drive has become the dumping site for gravestones on Cleveland's Lake Erie coast. The owner of the house has acquired truckload after truckload of alleged disposed headstones and systematically deposited them over the cliff's edge. The snow-dusted stones rest in a jumbled heap on the side of the hill and spill toward the water's edge. Yet more stacks of monuments are still piled behind the house, ready to be shoved unceremoniously over the rim. For reasons unknown, the homeowner has refused to reveal the source of the material.

This was the scene I observed on Friday morning in -13 windchill weather, February 2, 2001 when I went to survey the location with Janet Loehr, the resident who discovered this mess while walking her dogs on the beach last Tuesday. We were met at the location by news reporters and cameramen from television station Channels WKYC-3 and Fox-8. Janet has agreed to be present at our membership meeting on February 12 to relate her account of and reaction to finding this monumental graveyard. More information about this meeting can be found on the Ohio Cemetery Preservation Society home page.

Although the majority of the stones are now partially covered with loose dirt, witnesses report seeing possibly hundreds of granite and sandstone gravemarkers of all shapes and sizes. Some of the names are still visible and it is our intent to determine that these are indeed discarded stones. If you have knowledge of the names or families listed here, please contact us immediately so we can verify that a gravestone still marks the burial site.

Richard Woodley


Joseph Zak


Alex Miller


Richard Shaker


Thomas Carter


Morris Friedman


Charles L. Morley


Bertha Hoegler


Szadai Lajos


Margaret Stolz


(first name unknown) Donovan

Died 1948

Arlene Rich from the Jewish Genealogy Society and Howard Wolf from the Cleveland Jewish Federation have offered to assist in our verification of replacement stones. They believe they have been able to confirm a replacement marker for Morris Friedman already. In addition to confirmation of an existing marker, we would also like to know the supplier of the replacement marker.

In order to alleviate problems like this in the future we will draft an agreement with area cemeteries and monument dealers to have inscriptions on stones being discarded eradicated or, preferably, have the entire stone crushed. Finding a pile of gravestones heaped in a landfill is not only distressful, but also horrifically disrespectful. Each of these stones still in essence represents the memory and existence of family members and loved ones.

We are asking for assistance in tracing these names and verifying replacement stones, if possible. If you have any information or questions, please contact the Ohio Cemetery Preservation Society at or 216-291-0580. We will be adding more information as it becomes available and hopefully add photographs taken on February 2.

Katie Karrick, President
February 3, 2001

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Copyright © 2001 Ohio Cemetery Preservation Society