The Staunton Methodist Cemetery sleeps quietly in the tiny village of Staunton in rural Concord Township, Fayette County, Ohio. It is a church burial ground that has endured more than its share of misfortune by becoming a property overtaken by broken gravestones — some now sinking out of sight scattered on the ground; while others remain precariously heaped up in jagged piles of marble and limestone.
Among the saddest of sights are the displaced markers that awkwardly line some of the old red brick church’s exterior walls.
The Staunton Methodist Church is active. Its adjoining cemetery also has had burials in recent times. So why is it that the overall condition of the Staunton Methodist Cemetery became so sadly deteriorated?
The Concord Township Trustees are “maintaining” the cemetery property; meaning that they are mowing the grass and weeds around the gravestones and monuments.
However, regarding the broken gravestones, they are not legally obligated to clean, repair or re-erect them. So, as the years pass by, more and more gravestones are either vandalized, or become further deteriorated by the ravages of the elements of time, weather, and/or accidents.
The Ohio Revised Codes “ORCs” do not extend protections to cemeteries beyond the basics and are dependant upon township levies to continue to pass for their continued care.
Passage of Ohio House Bill 91, however, would:
I wonder if many of Ohio’s lawmakers even realize that our once “Beautiful Ohio” exists no more, due in part to the sadly deteriorated scenes like those we see at the Staunton Methodist Cemetery.
Sharing below my photographs of the Staunton Methodist Cemetery taken July 17, 2015: