Monday, December 2, 2013

Pioneer Cemetery Article – July 1954

2015 is the 200th anniversary year of the founding of Sheffield Township, and since both Sheffield Village and Sheffield Lake were part of the original settlement, they have partnered to form a bicentennial commission. The commission is now in the early stages of planning a big bicentennial celebration.

Even though 2015 is a ways off, it's not too early for me to post this historical article.

It's about the Pioneer Cemetery on E. River Road (which I'm sure many of you have driven past on the way to Elyria through the years). It was written by Jane Eastin and was published in the Lorain Journal on July 8, 1954.

15x20 Plot For Root, Day Families
Settlers Buried in Small Cemetery

SHEFFIELD – Enclosed by a wrought iron picket fence and covered with a mat of green vinka [sic] vines is the resting place of a few of the early settlers of Sheffield Village.

The small cemetery, 15 x 20 feet, is approximately 300 feet north from the intersection of French Creek Road and Route 301, overlooking Black River and the smokestacks of the National Tube Co. Although it is within the view of the hundreds of cars that pass by every day it is noticed by very few.

Surrounded by the products of the machine age the 125 year old cemetery is serene and peaceful.

Little did the early settlers who brought their families to the Western Reserve of Ohio realize that the west side of the river would become one of the large steel centers of the country.

Many Tombstones Gone
Many of the tombstones have disappeared with the years but a few are still standing marking the graves of the descendants of Capt. John Day. Capt. Day brought his wife, Lydia, and their nine children from Sheffield, Mass. in 1816 to make their home in Sheffield, O., a country where Indians and wild beast still remained.

The stones also mark the graves of John Ingersoll, their grandson, and Frederick Day, who married Mary A. Sackett of Avon.

Another first settler who is buried here is William Henry Root who arrived in Lorain County with his wife, Sarah-Eliza, and six children a few months before Capt. Day. After Sarah died in 1833 William Root married Fanny Day, daughter of Capt. Day.

Over 225 Descendants
During the century since Capt. John Day and Lydia were married there are over 225 descendants (without counting those of the female line after the first generation.) Many of the Day and Root families are still living in the village.

A short distance from this Day family cemetery another cemetery once stood on the bluff near French Creek Bridge. This was abandoned after a short time and the bodies of the early settlers were removed to the ridge cemetery.

If you're interested, here's a link to a nice capsule history of Sheffield that explains why today there is a Sheffield Lake, a Sheffield Village and a Sheffield Township – all at the same time.

And here are a few more shots from my Sept. 2013 visit to the Pioneer Cemetery. Some of the tombstones are mentioned in the 1954 article.


Anonymous said...

How can tombstones disappear? I know a lot of urns that are on top of them get taken but why would anyone want a whole stone? What do they do with them, stick them in their back yards?

Linda Jean Limes Ellis said...

The gravestones look well cared for and recently cleaned. Gravestones can disappear for many reasons, one of the chief reasons is that they simply can sink out of sight! And, yes it has been known to happen that people remove gravestones for their own personal use.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that park behind the fire station called "James Day Park"?