Butternut Ridge Cemetery

Butternut Ridge Cemetery
Butternut Ridge Cemetery First Burial 1821

Monday, October 17, 2016

Who was Bertha B Smith

It has been awhile since we made a new post. I have been busy in the OHS archives.  On the desk there has been sitting for a while a picture and an obituary for a young lady who died in 1900. A visitor in the archives last week asked me if we knew anything about her. Other than what was listed in the obituary, we knew nothing. He piqued my interest we are always up for a challenge.
Died in her home in Olmsted Falls, Wednesday September 26th, 1900 Bertha B Smith Only child of Dr. and Mrs. R. K. Smith. She was born in Lorain, July 18th 1877, and moved with her parents to Olmsted Falls when she was nine years old. An only child, talented, winning and beloved, a great social favorite with a most promising future opening before her. The only consolation that comes to us is—“Be still and know that I am God,” with the comforting assurance that “ He doeth all things well.”
In Ancestry, the berth record for her July 18th that tells us that her father was Dr. Rufus K Smith and her mother was Ella (Ellen)J Chapman and she was born in Black River, Lorain County, Ohio.  The 1880 Census shows the family living in Warwick, Tuscarawas County, Ohio.  In the 1900 census the family was living in Olmsted Falls, Cuyahoga County Ohio.  The only information on her death is in Find A Grave where the Elmwood Internment Book says she died of consumption (Tuberculosis). She is buried In Elmwood Cemetery Lot 5-24 with her parents


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Historic House moved with High Tech Eqpt

First It started with building the cribs under the under the I beams. In the first house moves they used hydraulic cylinders with a hand pump to lift the house. A Crib is cross stacked 6X6 hard wood beams. The cylinders are mounted in the stack and as the reach the top pf the stroke they add more timbers and reset the cylinder to go up higher. If you had to do this with hand pumped cylinders it takes a lot of time. The first picture is of the remote hydraulic controller The second shows the beams that they use in the stack in the background is a crib.


The original cabin has a very unusual power unit/ hydraulic control unit. It needs no additional power unit. and operates by a wireless joystick. With both loads they can control the position of the load. Going down Cedar Point they could raise the front up higher if they want. The first picture is of the one piece unit. and the second picture is of the controller.


On the larger load they mount the main hydraulic unit on a special 5th wheel mount that hooks on the I beams and mount wheels on the back. First picture is of the Power unit with the 5th wheel on it. The second one is of the mounting wheel sets 

Ready to go

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thompson House set to move to its home in Frostville

The Thompson House Is all set to be moved to its new home in Frostville Museum. The Foundation has been dug. The move will be Thursday at 7:00 AM. down Butternut Ridge Rd. to Columbia and Down Cedar Point Road. Since we are putting wheels on it and moving it down the road, does that mean it is a historic mobile home?   

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Main Part of the Original High School Comes Down

The first graduating class of ,North Olmsted High School, was in 1931. We have a yearbook in our archives and a class picture on the wall in our Events Barn. We have a collection of yearbooks in the archives along with about Ten of the class pictures that hung on the walls first in the old building and were moved to the new building. When the new building was set on fire some were destroyed and others were water damaged. I graduated in 1958 from the old building. My son and daughter graduated from the new building. My son attended IX High while they repaired the fire damaged school. Both of the school buildings that I went to school in are now gone. I attended Butternut Grade School I had Ms. Pape as my Kindergarten teacher, and Mr Graf for 6th grade. The kindergarten was in the basement next to the boiler room it was always was real warm no problem sleeping at nap time. With Mr. Graf if you got him talking about WWII that was the class for the day. We have a collection of pictures on the removal of Butternut in our archives along with a brick from the 1913 part of the building. 

I will be posting pictures of the removal of the old part of the building. It looks like it will be all down by Sunday. The School Site has a good collection of pictures,  http://www.northolmstedschools.org/

Monday, February 22, 2016

Work on the Thompson House this Coming Saturday March 5

The Saturday March 5th they will be working on the roof of the second story.  The roof is 28 foot long and will be cut in half then cut along the roof line. it will be in four 14 foot panels and loaded on 2 trailers. the 2 end peaks will cut just above the floor line and placed on the floor of the house. This way the house will fit under the wires with out moving them. The house will be ready to move, to the Frostville Campus about the second last or last week of March. 

Last weekend they will be removing the 20th century additions from the back of the house these sections will not be going to Frostville. The only parts that are historic are the two story section, added about 1850, and the lower section to the east that is the original home, ca 1828/30. 

The roof-line walls and floor, of the old house, will be separated from the from the rest of the house and will be prepped to be moved. The chimney will be removed, Just a short note now there will be pictures taken of the work and some will be posted here. The second floor will be stripped to it's framing. For removal of the roof. Stairs are very narrow. The Ceiling is not very high and the sloped at the sides.

The part built in about 1830                             The original and two story addition about 1855

These parts will be removed from the back:

Remove back from the original part                                       Remove up to the two story part

The house is ready to prep for removal

As soon as I get them I will post the work pictures. and here they are

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

J. P. Spencer Golden Wedding Anniversary

John Place Spencer was the son of Jonathan and Molly Jones Spencer married Electa (Ellen) Miriam Beach the daughter of Juno and Hannah Ingraham Beach.
This is the story of J. P and Ellen Spencer’s 50th wedding anniversary that was published in the Berea Grindstone Advertiser. There were two separate articles in the paper:

An Anniversary Gathering that
will long be remembered

Monday afternoon there were gathered a company of relatives and near friends to celebrate the completion of half a century of wedded life Mr. and Mrs. John P Spencer, at their residence in Rockport.  Fifty years ago that very day John P Spencer claimed as his bride Ellen Beach, and snugly tucked her in the “jumper” bore her to his home, which as the years rolled on expanded to make room for those who came to enlarge their household.  Following the bride and groom was an ox team and sled, bearing the household goods if this new establishment. At the setting of the sun they took possession of their new home, and now that fifty years have come and gone, in the light of another sunset the groom relates the story of his wedding day. All of the six children, whose homes surround the parental one, were present with eleven grandchildren.  Two long tables, twice filled , supplied  the delicacies and substantials of life, and received due attention from all. Then all gathered round the bride and groom, seated before the old fireplace, and heard the events of a half of a century ago by those whose pleasure it was to remember them. Mr. and Mrs. Amos Spencer sang in the sweetest tones to their father and mother “Toddlin Doon the Brae,” after which Mr. Donaldson read a congratulatory address prepared by P*. Beach, a brother of Mrs. Spencer’s.  After referring to their long and happy companionship, Mr. Beach wrote, “Now they are nearly alone in the world they have blessed; gone are the playmates who spent with them life’s morning hours; gone the youthful companions whose happy presence sent the warm blood to their cheeks.  The home nest is still preserved from when whence the children have flown, and they are all settled around them. Nearly all there generation has departed, and they are left like an oak in the field where all the forest has been cleared away.  In the gathering twilight of age the sweet faith of childhood returns; the doubts and fears of adult life are forgotten, and the artlessness of life’s dawn returns to bless the declining years.  The outward ear has grown heavy, but an inward sense hears the tread of an angels’ feet along the land which borders life’s darkness.”

Mr. and Mrs. Spencer again sang this time the selection was entitled; “When We are Old and Gray.”

Mr. Laurel Beebe made a few happy remarks; Mrs. J. B Cahoon, in the behalf of her husband, whose infirm condition would not permit his sharing the joyful occasion with his friends, congratulated the host and hostess, saying she had a few months since celebrated her golden anniversary, and well knew the feelings of those who observe this day with festivities. Mrs. William Hurd, in a very beautiful and touching manner referred to the evening of life, “At Eventide it shall be Light,” and all who had felt the influence of the lives of these friends, realized the richness of the afterglow which surrounds them, made golden and bright by their usefulness, generosity and friendliness.
The same voices sand “Gently Down the Stream of Time” after which a granddaughter, Miss. Mabel Potts, repeated and original poem written for the occasion.”

The happy old couple were the recipients of many valuable presents.

* Philo Beach

This came from a Scrap book made by Edith Knoblock, daughter of Edith Beach, that is in the Frostville Museum Archives

This is an exact copy of the prose that was used in 1882. There is another article that contains a list of the guests and their gifts in this scrapbook. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

1886 Style Fundraising

Still working on the Ames scrapbook and found this advertisement. 

Quite different amount of money with the same needs we have in this generation. This is now known as the Unitarian Universalist Church. It was built in 1847 and designed by John Ames. It was moved from the point where Butternut Ridge Rd. meets Lorain Rd. (Coe Ridge Rd.) and is now on the west side of Porter Rd in 1965. Mr. Ashur Coe was instrumental in building this Church. In 1926 Mayor Leon Coe assisted in the funding for the building of the Coe Memorial Building and the parish house. Later in the 1950's the Olmsted Players held their performances on the stage of the Coe building. The building was torn down when the church was moved. 

One of the early ministers was Rev Isaac Henry.  He and his wife Polly Ransom Henry bought the Thompson house from Alden Thompson in about 1853.  This is about the time the 2 story addition was added to the house.     

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


I have been working in the archives of the Olmsted Historical Society at Frostville Museum. I am now in the process  of scanning a scrapbook* that was put together by Amelia Merriam Ames. It contains newspaper clippings from 1883 to 1888.The newspapers of the days were The Berea Grindstone Advertiser and The Ridgeville Republican. It is interesting what they were printing: trips into and visitors from out of town, deaths. births, marriages, family reunions, and even in the 1800's there were scams and thefts.    

North Olmsted items were listed as Butternut Ridge or just the Ridge or as Coe Ridge. Westlake was known as Dover and Fairview was Rockport. Occasionally they used the term North Olmsted this was to differentiate from the rest of Olmsted. They sometimes used South Olmsted for the Falls area.   

Here is a story from the clippings.  It has a connection to the  "Mystery of Rienzi Austin" 

"Disappointment lies in many a prize,
As bees in flowers, and stings us with success.  

This aphorism of old poet was happily illustrated a short time since in the elite and pleasant neighborhood of Coe Ridge.  On the evening of Oct 15th, Mrs J. S. Knowles  was surprised by the sudden entrance into her pleasant home of a number of her relatives and friends with baskets and parcels, who without ceremony took possession of her rooms and proceeded to business. When the mystery was cleared up, it was found they had brought a nice supper and a number of valuable articles in honor of her 40th birthday." 

"Among the presents were the following: A nice set of dishes,from her mother Mrs Austin, of Coe Ridge and brother and sisters; a sofa lounge from her aunt Lucretta Coe; a bedroom set of china, from her uncle Andrew Coe's people; some glassware from her cousins, Mary Williams and Mrs. L. D. Benedict, of Cleveland. A very pleasant surprise and a merry good time."

Mrs J. S. Knowles is Annette Austin Knowles a sister of Rienzi. Mrs Austin is Lucina Coe Austin.   

 * The scrap book is property of the OHS Frostville archives. 

What is the value of an archive?  Frostville is a beautiful collection of 19th century buildings and furnishings but, what was the life like in those days. Some of their hardships we would not even think about. We are able to see what the people looked like. Did you ever wonder why people never smiled. Some say it was because of the hard life or it would be wrong to smile. The logical answer is it took to long to take the picture. You were not to move or the picture would be spoiled. 

To preserve a historic house you need wood and paint. To preserve an archive you need a temperature and humidity controlled room.  You also need containers and folders that are acid free. The temperature is to be no warmer than 75 degrees and the humidity about 30%. A historic archive is as important as a historic house if not more important.   

Sunday, February 7, 2016

How Early Families Looked After Each Other

I have been working on the Prechtel part of the North Olmsted First Families tree on Ancestry. I have had a lot of help thanks to the Olmsted Historical Society archives and the contributions of a Prechtel family member.

I found an interesting story and William Prechtel is part of it.

Alice Burrington was the daughter of Francis and Jane Spafford Burrington She was born in 1871 in Wisconsin she was fifth of nine children.  In 1891 she married Herbert B Moody son of Lawrence and Philinda Thomas Moody he was the youngest of four children in Aug of 1891. They had a son, Wallace Moody that was born on 21 of May 1892.   

On the 24th of October Herbert passed away of Consumption (Tuberculosis). Their son was only 2 years old left with a 23 year old single mother.  I have found out since that Alice also had Consumption and survived.  In the 1900 Census we find him listed as a nephew in the household of Herbert’s older brother Chandler and his wife, Sarah (Sadie) Burrington Moody the sister of Alice. In the 1910 Census Wallace was listed as an adopted son of Chandler. A side note on Chandler his first wife was Pearl Burrington also a sister of Alice and Sarah.

On the 10th of June Alice married William Prechtel the oldest son of Martin and Margaretha Haushahn Prechtel. William was the last Prechtel to own the family home that is now in Frostville Museum William an Alice had no children and lived for many years on the part of the Prechtel farm that was on Columbia Road. He was in the farming business like his parents. The house he built is still standing. They are now in Butternut Ridge Cemetery. William died in 1947 and Alice in 1958.

Wallace lived in Shelby Ohio and served in WWI here is his record: 1 Lieutenant Infantry 27 Nov 1917 from CL; Captain 9 Oct 1918. Fort Harrison Ind 27 Aug 1917 to 26 Nov 1917. 158 Depot Brigade to --; 325 Field Signal Battalion to 5 June 1918; 802 Pioneer Regiment, Infantry to Discharge Cp Sherman O; Cp Mills NY: America.

Wallace married Ladye Ferriot in 1938. He was a Vice President of a milling Company.  He died in 1977 and his wife died in 1999 Wallace and everyone else lived long and happy lives.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sandi's Project the Who and What

When I retired I decided to get in to genealogy. The logical place to start was with my own family. I figured it would be easy as on my paternal side there were three generations of George Harry's.  I was wrong because the first generation in America was Thomas. I had very little on my mothers side other than the Rabbitt, Carroll, and Shane names were part of it. My grandmother had always said we were part of the Lincoln family. Well five years later I had a tree with about six thousand people and thousands of pictures and documents. I still work on it every now and then. It goes back to a 11th great grandfather born in 1471 in North Wales England. 

While doing this I got interested in Find A Grave and started doing pictures in Butternut Ridge and Coe Cemeteries for other people. Doing this is where I found Sandra Lee Stelter a baby that had a small headstone under as shrub in Butternut.  Sandra was born Dec 24, 1945 and died December 29, 1945. I was able to get a death certificate for her and found she died of heart problems. It got me wondering how many other children are buried in Butternut and Coe so I started working with the City of North Olmsted to document the two cemeteries. I have copies of the records to work with and have been building a database for them. I am including maiden names for all the wives and, death documentation when I can find them. There are hundreds of children in the two cemeteries. Large families were not uncommon in the 1800"s Diphtheria, Small Pox, Plague and consumption were not controllable then. 

Sandi is the reason I got involved in all that I do in my research. What is written in this blog are my musings, thoughts, and findings. I am a history nut and am some what a bulldog when it comes to my research I leave no stone unturned. I hope I can pass this on to our younger generations. There are three social media venues that I use: Twitter; @OlmstedHistory, this blog and Facebook Butternutridgecemetery. Email address butternutridgecemetery@gmail.com.          

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thompson House Rescue and Relocation

The Go Fund Me site has raised $250.00 so far. We really would really like to build the foundation before we have to move the house. The house must be moved by April 1 or we lose it

We will be posting the progression of the project. The one story part of the house is the original homestead built in about 1830 Jonathan first shows in the Lenox tax records in 1829. The two story part of the house was built in about 1840/50. To move the house it will be necessary to separate it into 3 pieces. The original house will be separated from the newer part and the second floor will be separated from the first floor. ( The same way the Carpenter house was moved.) They are stripping carpet off of the floors in the original part along with taking the paneling of the wall that adjoins the newer part. Behind the paneling they found a door that was nailed shut. On the other side of the wall is a stair landing and the stairs to the second floor.     

When they got the door open they found there are still two steps visible and the landing was set on top of the existing stairway structure and the top was walled off. Notice there is a coat hook on the back of the door that was in the wall.

The stairs originally came straight down into the old house.  They had also installed a plywood floor over the original oak flooring to raise the level about two inches to match the new part of the house. It looks like the new part has maple flooring in the living room. There are a couple of walls that were also added in the middle 1900's

Monday, February 1, 2016


About this time last year I posted about the importance of putting names and dates on pictures that your family has. I mentioned about Kirk a cousin of mine, sent me a bunch of pictures of my side of of our shared family.  I received an email from him on Sunday with another picture. When he found it, it was not in very good condition, through the magic of computer enhancement, he brought it back to life.

To tell a little of my family story Kirk's grandmother and my mother were best of friends.  When my grandfather and grandmother divorced it was quite a trauma on my mother, she was an only child, and my grandmother no longer associated with that side of the family. I have a diary from about that time and you can see the change in her writings and she quit school. In the picture my mother was about four or five years old, from left to right, her grandmother; her great grandmother; My mother; her great grandfather a Union Civil War veteran;  and her father   

The first batch if pictures that Kirk sent contained pictures of my grandfather, that was the first time I had ever seen a picture of him, or any one else in the maternal side of my family.

It is important that someone in your family keeps records of the family and they are passed on.  If you send a digital school picture make sure you name it using the full name and year. Don't use uncle Bob or grandma use a full name. 

In the OHS Archives there are many albums listed that way.  They know the primary family name but without doing a genealogical search, still only an educated guess there is no positive proof as to who they are. Luckily they have a lot of pictures that are marked. 

When you are in your seventies, your health is going downhill, your parents and relatives have passed away, it is not the time to ask the questions you should have asked when you were younger.

I found this picture on Twitter, I'm at @OlmstedHistory, it pretty well sums up what most people think of Genealogy. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Thompson House Go Fund Me Site

There is a new Go fund Me site to raise money for the foundation for the Thompson house https://www.gofundme.com/psxwc55d When it gets moved it would be cheaper to set it on a foundation than leave it on transport beams and supports until the foundation is put in place. The site has raised $250.00 so far. We really would really like to build the foundation before we have to move the house. The house must be moved by April 1 or we lose it


The land around the Thompson house and the trees that are in the way for the new construction are being removed by the school board.  

New England Historical Society Newsletter

One Item I look forward to seeing in my inbox is the newsletter of the New England Historical Society. They always have interesting stories. In the December 3rd edition they had the story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who had a tragic life. And still he wrote a beautiful poem that became the Christmas Carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. With what happened to him in his life most people would have never made it. Here is a link to his story: http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/heard-bells-christmas-day-hope-surfaces-despair/. Inside the story there is a link that leads to a story of the courtship of his wife.

There are usually three to four interesting stories in each issue. The headline story of the January 28th issue is Louisa May Alcott, dangerous fanatic, kisses a baby.  She volunteered as a nurse in a Washington hospital during the Civil War. She was brought up a strict abolitionist in New England.  That really didn’t go over well with the Southern Sympathizers in Washington.  Here is the link: http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/louisa-may-alcott-dangerous-fanatic-kisses-a-baby/  she wrote a book on this adventure called “Civil War Memoirs”

Another of the stories in this edition is about Percy Spencer and the chocolate bar that changed the way you cook. With a fifth grade education he helped the WWII effort and invented the microwave oven In this life he had over 300 patents. Here is his story: http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/percy-spencer-and-the-chocolate-bar-that-changed-the-way-you-cook/  

Dale Thomas will be coming out with a new book this summer "Cleveland in WW I" about the Lakeside Nurses.  We have 2 of the Lakeside nurses buried in Butternut Ridge Cemetery Helen Briggs Elliott  Daughter of Henry Harrison  Briggs and Damie Henry Broadwell, daughter of Rev. Isaac Henry minister of the First Universalist Church. Isaac Henry bought the Thompson house from Alden Thompson in about 1855.

Monday, January 25, 2016

OHS Frostville enters new era

Olmsted Historical Society and Frostville Museum are starting on and era that will add a lot to the museum and to their preservation of the past. They will be building a 1830’s replica school house the ground breaking will happen this spring/summer.  And the Thompson house will be moved from Butternut Ridge road to their campus on Cedar Point road by April to make room for the construction of the new combined education complex being built by the North Olmsted Board of Education on Butternut Ridge Rd.

In the OHS by laws they are dedicated to Preserving the Past and the Present for the Future. They have an extensive archive of pictures letters and books on history of Olmsted and its families. It would be a fitting tribute if the use of the Thompson House could be as the Frostville History Center and contain the archives, Military History room and meeting area, as the Thompson's were very important to the founding and growth of North Olmsted. This is the personal opinion of sandisproject.

This will take a lot of work on the part of OHS along with a serious fundraising effort. OHS is looking for new members that would like to help them.
The core group that moved the Church to the Frostville campus is getting older (for some reason that happens) most of the work here is done on weekends.  

Along with all the construction work they will be still doing the usual events including the Farmers Market's and keeping the houses open on Saturdays. 
The Events Committee has put together the 2016 event schedule which will be posted soon.

There are scheduled maintenance items necessary to keep the existing buildings in good condition.  OHS has an awesome workshop that was completed in late 2014. 

If you are willing to help in one of the houses you will be taught the history of the house and their families. Hand books are being created for your reference when answering questions.