Thursday, July 30, 2009

Colerain Historic Cemetery

  • Located on the North side of Springdale Road, just east of Pippin Road
  • Formally known as “Colerain Township Historical Cemetery West Branch Millcreek”
  • Possibly owned/operated by Christ Lutheran Church, a member of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, at 3301 Compton Road near Colerain Avenue
  • Most of the periods on the stones give the date of death as anywhere from the early 1800’s up through the very early 1900’s
    o This could suggest that the cemetery is no longer in use
  • The site is very expansive despite only roughly a third of its total area utilized for gravesites
    o The remainder is mowed grasses
    o The South side of the sight faces against Springdale Road
    o The North side borders a subdivision
    o The East and West boundaries are neighboring homes
    o Aside from the South face, the other three margins are heavily wooded
    o Rough measurements: 200 feet by 750 feet
    o Terrain is sloping steadily downward from Northwest to Southeast
  • Common theme on the headstones is to list years/months/days aged versus strictly D.O.D.
  • Some last names are familiar areas/streets in or around Colerain Township
    o Phebe Miles--Daughter of John and Margarett Miles--as in Miles Road off of Adams Road and Hamilton Avenue (appears whole family is buried here)
    o Elizabeth Hughes--Wife of Harbour Hughes--as in Hughes Road off of Struble Road and Bank Road
    o William Compton--Son of John and Hannah Compton--as in Compton Road stretching from Colerain Avenue to Winton Road
    o Harriet C. Stout--Wife of Andrew Stout--as in Stout Road off of Pippin Road and Pottinger Road (North boundary of Northwest High School)
    o The consort of Joseph Struble (Ann Elizabeth) is buried here--Struble as in Struble Road panning from Colerain Avenue to Burlington Road
  • Gravestones overall are in bad shape
    o Quite a few have fallen over
    o Some are completely unreadable
    o A dozen or so stones have broken in half
    o This, too, could suggest the cemetery is no longer in use
  • General facing direction of the headstones is West
    o This east/west orientation is the most common orientation in other parts of the country and world as well. The earliest settlers had their feet pointing toward the east and the head of the coffin toward the west, ready to rise up and face the "new day" (the sun) when "the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised" or when Christ would appear and they would be reborn. If the body was positioned between the headstone and the footstone, with the inscriptions facing outward, the footstone might actually be facing east and the decorated face of the headstone facing west. If the headstone inscription faces east, the body would most commonly be buried to the east of it
  • An interesting fact: The north side of the cemetery was considered less desirable and is often the last part of the burying ground to be used, or one may find the north side set aside for slaves, servants, suicides, "unknowns," etcetera

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