Not familiar with the project? Start here:
Read Part I | Read Part II | Read Part III | Read Part IV | Read Part V | Read Part VI
The Ohio Historical Marker Program
“The Ohio Historical Marker program is administered by the Local History Services Department of the Ohio History Connection. Since 1957, the program has placed more than 1,700 markers that share our state’s history. Partnering with community sponsors, we help tell the unique stories of the people, places, things, or events that helped shape individual communities as well as Ohio and the nation. Approximately 20-30 new markers are accepted into the program each year.” (remarkableohio.org)
Worthington Cemetery is a part of our history and community. All cemeteries, be they public, private, well maintained or abandoned, are a legacy we leave for future generations. Our goal with this project is to ensure that those buried there are not forgotten. Their story is part of our shared Ohio and national history.
Archibold Worthington, his family, and community made their way to our area to improve their lives. They migrated from what they knew in Virginia to build something better for themselves. His son, Henry Worthington, became part of the story of our nation’s Civil War. The others who lived and died in his community may not be known by their individual names, which were lost to time, but their resting place can be honored.
The application for the Ohio Historical Marker asks for their story and the approximate size of the area that is to be marked. The WPA record of the location of the cemetery, along with what has been passed down among the generations that have lived in Highland Township, offers a start for determining the size.
There are two teams that will be visiting to help pinpoint the size of the cemetery. The first is the KYK9 Search Dogs organization, headed up by Jennifer Hall (kyk9.org). They will visit the field on November 1 to let the dogs use their training and search for the scent of human remains. The areas they indicate will be marked with small flags.
The next team is made up of Defiance local Eric Hubbard and his colleagues from the University Of Pennsylvania Anthropology/Archaeology Department. They will use GPR equipment to survey the area of the cemetery location. The equipment is owned by the university and used with their permission for this project. The equipment software will retain all readings, which will be reviewed and organized by Eric and his team. This will take time. By early spring, we should have the GPR information. There is a free webinar that explains how GPR is used to locate anomalies in the ground that are indicative of burials. If you are interested in learning how the GPR will work, click here to see more.
We are in a unique situation, having two different types of information gathering happening in the field. We will compare the results of both in depth. This should give us the approximate size of the cemetery, which we need for the marker application. Another date to note is February 10. Paulding County native Ryan Weller of Weller & Associates, Inc. (wellercrm.com) will be coming to Defiance Public Library to speak about his experiences with archaeological projects in Ohio. His company also surveyed the field where the cemetery is located. This will be a free event; no registration necessary.
As the Worthington Cemetery Project develops, we’ll keep you posted!