Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday’s child: Little Ella May

Before too long, the small marble gravestone for Ella May Bennett (d. 1861) may not be readable, but not because of weathering or neglect or vandalism. Before too long, the inscription may be temporarily obscured by the tall prairie grasses that are encouraged to grow in Bigelow Cemetery Prairie State Nature Preserve.

Daugh. of
J.F. & H.
April 16, 1861,
10 M. & 21 D.

Bigelow is a special place that changes with every visit. I stopped by recently to photograph stones that I know will be hidden later this summer.

From the Ohio Department of Natural Resources online:

On September 13, 1978, Bigelow Cemetery was dedicated as an interpretive state nature preserve. A special management program for the preservation of the historic tombstones, perpetuation of the prairie species and elimination of noxious weeds was initiated following dedication by the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.

Bigelow Cemetery has never been plowed or grazed. It appears to be perched above the surrounding farm fields, a reflection of how much of the original prairie soil from these fields has been lost to wind and water erosion over the decades.

The cemetery still contains healthy colonies of prairie grasses and beautiful prairie wildflowers which once carpeted the Darby Plains. Some are considered rare, threatened or endangered in Ohio. For many years Bigelow Cemetery was the only known location in the state for the royal catchfly, the cemetery’s rarest plant. Other colonies have since been discovered elsewhere within the Darby Plains.

Bigelow Cemetery Prairie State Nature Preserve, Madison County, Ohio


  1. Just found your blog, Amy, and am now following ~ working on a second blog for genealogy/cemetery art ~ hope to have it up and running soon ~ nice to meet you!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Anne. I look forward to enjoying your blog for genealogy/cemetery art!

  2. I just discovered your blog and added you to my reader. Thanks for your volunteer work with Find A Grave! I love that website! Jana

    1. Hi Jana--thank you the follow. Sometimes I think I'd be lost without FindAGrave. Love it!


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