Posted: July 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

Cleveland’s Erie Street Cemetery provides wonderful green space in our growing downtown, and it connects us to our past.

Cemeteries and the dead who rest in them, connect us to our past. They tell the story of who we have been and who were are. Over Labor Day Weekend 2016, vandals tried to destroy that connection for our community by severely damaging the gravestones and markers of some of Cleveland’s most historic figures. On Tuesday July 18th at 11am, thanks to the dedication and support of a number of groups, we  restore that connection.





Tuesday July 18 at 11:00am a celebration of the Erie Street Cemetery Restoration project will take place on the grounds of the Erie Street Cemetery.


On Labor Day Weekend in 2016, Erie Street Cemetery, Cleveland’s oldest cemetery established in 1827 was badly vandalized. In October, Jennie Jones, Regent, Moses Cleaveland Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution requested permission from her chapter and the Ohio State Daughters of the American Revolution to determine the extent of the damage to the remaining eleven tomb stones vandalized and to assess the possibility of DAR chapters in the NE region of Ohio joining together to repair the tomb stones. John Cimperman and the Early Settlers Association, already committed to maintenance and protection of the cemetery quickly became the umbrella organization for this extraordinary volunteer effort. The total cost for the repairs of the original damaged tombstones was $2,350.00. The project became a much bigger community effort!

The response was remarkable! The cost of $2,350.00 was divided among the following DAR chapters: Moses Cleaveland, Hannah Luther Bosworth, Martha Devotion Huntington joined forces with Peter Navarre Chapter U.S.D. 1812, Molly Chittendon, New Connecticut, Shaker and Western Reserve-Lakewood. The Western Reserve Society of the Sons of the American Revolution chapter also joined the group. The enthusiasm and generosity of all involved help to raise more funds than requested, to support ESA’s on-going support and safe-keeping of Erie Street.

IMG_2975Because of the historic importance of this cemetery, Old Stone Church joined with the above organizations to help raise funds for the repair of the weathered tomb of Samuel Aiken, an early member of the First Presbyterian Society Bible Society and their first called Pastor.

A celebration will take place on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at Erie Street Cemetery. Members from each of the organizations involved will be present to place American Flags and flowers on each of the repaired tombs including the tomb of Samuel Aiken. Dr. R. Mark Giuliano, Pastor of Old Stone Church, will lead the ceremony and deliver the invocations. Nancy Schirm Wright, State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution will deliver brief remarks. The Cleveland Grays Color Guards with the Western Reserve Society of the Sons of the American Revolution Color Guards will process and post the colors. The entire group will return to Old Stone Church for a celebratory luncheon.

This yearlong effort to repair the damage done by vandals at Erie Street Cemetery has become a celebration of the contribution of so many who went before us. Lorenzo Carter and his wife are buried here as well as American Indians and 168 veterans from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The cemetery is an important historic site in downtown Cleveland.

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  1. Diane Marsh says:

    Great idea! Interested.

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