Green Lawn Cemetery celebrates 170 years with a look to the future


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Saturday was a special day for Green Lawn Cemetery, celebrating 170 years in Columbus with tours and a barbecue.

Why celebrate a cemetery? The owners take advantage of this year to draw attention to the historic beauty of the land and to celebrate the new management of the cemetery.

Dozens of people gathered to visit deceased family members and learn more about the history of Green Lawn.

“We have families who have been buried here since the 1800s and continue to be buried here today,” said Randel Rogers, president and director of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association. “You find all the stories of Columbus right here in the cemetery.”

Generations lie side by side at Green Lawn, including the family of Tom Maurer.

“This is my grandfather Frank, who has worked here all his wholesale productive life,” said Maurer, who also worked as a guard at the cemetery. “It’s his wife over there, his mother and stepfather buried in front of him.”

While working at Greenlawn, Maurer learned hard work and followed in his family’s footsteps.

“I worked here from 1941 to 1946,” he says. “My grandfather worked here before me.

Decades later, a new venture is helping bring this historic piece of land and the memories that come with it to life.

Kyle Nikola and Memorial Properties of Ohio take over Green Lawn operations.

“As a graduate of OSU, I felt a connection with Columbus,” Nikola said. “I wanted to come back here and be able to represent the community and do something special. ”

But being a cemetery keeper is more than making sure the grounds are clean and presentable. It is also about preserving history.

“We think it’s important to be a keeper of the family heritage, so we’re going to be doing things like life reviews and interviews with families and we’re keeping that in our permanent records here so that when future generations come along. looking for their ancestry, they will learn a lot more than where they were buried or just the dates of birth and death, ”said Nilola.

For Maurer, who turned 91 on July 5, the cemetery’s growth and improvements will only keep his family memories alive for decades to come.

“You can support the start of our family here,” he said.

This year is just the start of the next five years, when much of the cemetery will be restored, leading to a grand 175th anniversary celebration.

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