Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day at Wesleyan Cemetery

Wesleyan Cemetery started out as a church graveyard for a Methodist church in downtown Cincinnati on Catherine Street. It was near where the P&G building stands today. They were running out of room & downtown real estate was prohibitively expensive so in the 1840s they moved out to what was then the middle of nowhere, Cumminsville. The caretaker was a good guy & moved out to the new cemetery. He took great care of the cemetery til he died. Then everything went to shit.
The cemetery fell into disrepair, records, if kept, were lost, people couldn't find graves, graves were being resold, graves were compromised, the Method Men abandoned the cemetery, caretakers raided the trust fund meant for upkeep...
Ultimately it fell into the hands of government & the city & county played hot potato with it til the city finally had it dumped on their lap. They cited maintenance costs that, per square foot, would have made mowing my lawn a $70 job.
Anyway, it's finally semi normal & for the past few years the Northside/College Hill Kiwanis have sponsored a Memorial Day service. There are veterans of every war the United States has fought in interred in the cemetery & for decades no such cervices were held there.
Thanks to all involved for doing this.

The Queen City Rainbow Band, MC Don Beische & Twin Towers Chaplain, Joe Boone

Kathy Dahl discusses the history of the cemetery

Sergeant Marcus Glasgow reflects on military service

Sergeant Glasgow prefaced his talk by hoping he didn't come off as a PTSD victim. nah.
Steve & Denise Driehaus attended as did Eric Kearney.


McEwan said...

Just an FYI. This cemetery is now managed by Keep Cincinnati Beautiful and by, mostly, volunteer labor. It's got an amazing history! Among other bits of trivia: it was the first racially integrated cemetery in the area.

Teresa said...

Good story. I'm glad you went.