OCPS Jeopardy Report -- New Castle Cemetery, Richland County







(By County)


New Castle Cemetery
Sandusky Township, Richland County

Sometimes a well meaning preservation effort leads to other problems like the situation Susan Price Alexander told us about. Following is her account of what is taking place. We have omitted the name of the organization, but hope they will recognize themselves. They deserve thanks for their ambition, however like too many organizations, they are long on good intentions, but short on informed preservation instruction.

SPA: I have several ancestors in the New Castle Cemetery, Sandusky Township, Richland County. It is a pioneer cemetery in Ontario across from the Ontario Cemetery. It has had nearly all of its grave markers displaced. It is a very sad site to see.

I just discovered my ties to Richland County and went to find the cemeteries and records as soon as I found out. However, I was just a few weeks late. An organization had just tried to clean it up but in their mistaken idea of doing it, they threw all of the markers to the side and in piles. They probed for many and threw them to the side when they were unearthed. I would have expected such carelessness from some civic groups, but I would have thought that this group would have been better aware of how to do the job in a way to be respectful of the historic site that it is.

Since I stumbled onto it as they were doing it, I did express disappointment in what had been done which seemed to stop the activity. I then referred them to various cemetery preservation sites with information on the internet as somewhat unsubtle hints at how they could proceed. Soon afterward my husband checked the cemetery for me and there did not seem to be the same kind of activity going on. The grass is mowed but the piles of markers are overgrown with weeds.

This was one of the original cemeteries there. The ancestors in the cemetery were some of the first settlers in Richland county and the families that tried to establish New Castle, Cassel and Stough. The problem is, they could have kept it more to its original placement if they had learned a little more about what to do before they started. Two of my ancestors' markers are of the few that are probably in their original position and I wanted them to stay that way. There are markers for others of these two families, Cassel and Stough, that are thrown in the piles.

If I had the time and the money, lived closer, and the physical strength, I would be there doing what I could to see that it is preserved properly. However, as all of us who have developed a passion for preserving these pioneer cemeteries, I am frustrated at not being able to do more. I am hoping that my showing this organization there are places to learn more about the preservation of these cemeteries that they in turn will help to guide the townships and the county in doing this in a manner that will preserve the cemetery in the best way possible.

If you have any further questions or want to tell us about an Ohio cemetery in jeopardy, please contact us at ohcps@aol.com





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