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HUDSON, OH (March 24, 2021) – The Old Hudson Township Burying Ground located on Chapel Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Abolitionist John Brown’s parents Ruth and Owen Brown are buried there, along with founder David Hudson and his family.
In September 2020, the City and Western Reserve Academy (WRA) initiated a partnership to restore, preserve, and use the Old Burying Ground as a cross-curricular classroom that will provide more historical context for public tours.
WRA students will use the cemetery as an outdoor classroom for their History of Hudson and Western Reserve Academy course. Students will research individuals buried in the cemetery, document their histories, and create a virtual cemetery tour. They also will develop an app that will lead a GPS-guided tour of the cemetery. WRA’s Advanced Engineering and Design class will work to repair and reset the historic Baldwin wrought iron fence inside the cemetery.
The City of Hudson is working with a contractor specializing in restoring and preserving cemetery stones. The City will coordinate the project with Western Reserve Academy and the David Hudson Chapter of Questers.
A condition assessment and survey has already been completed. The project will be performed in phases. The initial phase is underway. The City’s arborist developed a plan for tree removal and pruning throughout the cemetery. The plan included tree pruning and dead tree removal to help thin the tree canopy allowing more sunlight in to encourage grass growth.
In October 2020, restoration and preservation work on eleven stones began that will immediately improve the cemetery. This work was funded by a $3,000 grant from the David Hudson Chapter of Questers as part of their commitment to the preservation of the Old Hudson Township Burying Ground.
With $17,000 in funding from the Ohio History Fund, along with a $10,000 donation from Hudson resident Marci Matthews and a $3,000 donation from WRA, additional restoration and preservation work will be performed on the remaining 158 monuments, posts, and stones. Restoration efforts, expected to take four to six months, will include cleaning and leveling all stones, as well as treating them with a solution to kill and deter future growth of algae, fungi, lichen, and mold. Custom concrete bases will be cast for approximately 29 stones and new crushed stone foundations will be installed, as needed, throughout the cemetery.
WRA students will assist with the caretaking duties. The Western Reserve Academy Burying Ground Club will perform these duties under the guidance of the Cemetery Board and the City Arborist. This commitment to the long-term maintenance of the cemetery is essential to ensuring that the preservation efforts will have a long-lasting impact.
The total cost of the project is approximately $50,800. To date, the following organizations and individuals have contributed to the project: