Stonewall Cemetery

Lancaster, Ohio

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Stonewall Cemetery is located on Stonewall Cemetery Road, about ½ mile from US-22, outside Lancaster, Ohio (Hocking Township, Fairfield County). The coordinates are 39° 41' 28.55" N, 82° 38' 22.9" W.

Stonewall Cemetery a small family cemetery that is no longer active. It is maintained by the Fairfield County Historical Parks. The cemetery is kept locked to prevent vandalism.

The inscription above the gate gives some history about the cemetery. It reads:

which encloses the family burying ground of
of NATHANIAL WILSON (one of the early Pioneers of
the West who emigrated from Cumberland County Pa and settled
near this place A.D. 1798 when all around was one continued & uninhabited
wilderness) was commenced by him A.D. 1838 & finished in the following year
by his son GUSTIN the former having suddenly died May 12 1839

The technique used to construct Stonewall Cemetery is amazing. The angles in the wall were cut into each individual stone. This is a one of a kind cemetery, there is not another one like it anywhere.

The Fairfield County parks ordered the Lebanon cedar that is planted inside. These trees are very difficult to find, this one replaced the original one.

I was told that the entrance faces the Polaris. The North star is exactly over the arch.

The cemetery is also known to be haunted. Legend has it that if you walk around the top of the cemetery's wall thirteen times at night flames will shoot up and you'll be pulled into hell!

Dala, a website visitor and Vice President of the Pisgah Cemetery Association in Perry County, Ohio e-mailed me another legend about the cemetery. When Dala was a teenager she and three or four of her friends drove out to the cemetery one night from New Lexington, Ohio. Her friend's boyfriend told them that if you sat on the wall and lit 3 matches a ghost would knock you off the wall. Dala's friends hoisted her and her friend Kim up on the wall and they lit three matches. However, they were disappointed because nothing knocked them off the wall...I think I would have been happy about that! :)

In February 2008 I received an e-mail from an anonymous visitor regarding an experience at Stonewall Cemetery:

I remember as a kid growing up in Lancaster, hearing stories and myths of Stonewall. I heard everything from it being haunted, to as far as being a satanic or wiccan ritual sight. I do recall late one night (around 11:00PM in the early summer of 1990 or 1991) driving in that area when a friend and I stopped by the cemetery against our better judgement. We approached the entrance and there appeared to be a fire inside the cemetery. Needless to say, we snuck up a little closer and were surprised to see people in dark clothing inside. We turned tail and split PDQ, later we returned and nothing was there (around 2:00AM). The odd part is there were no vehicles in the area that we saw on approach. It was pretty spooky and needless to say it was our last adventure out that way at night. We, being curious kids, returned the next day and there was no evidence that anything had happened or occurred at the site. My parents who have lived in the area always advised us to keep away from there and to just "avoid" the area. And of course, when we asked why we got the same answer I tell my daughter..."Just because I said so."

I received the following e-mail from Lynn Scheu in August 2008, with more historical information about Stonewall Cemetery:

I just read in the 1901 C.M.L. Wiseman book, "Pioneer Period and Pioneer People of Fairfield County OH" about the "architect and builder of the famous stone wall around the graves of Nathaniel Wilson and family." He was C.F. Griner.

C.F. Griner (Charles) had some other distinctions. He married a woman who came over the mountains in a wagon with her family in 1822. She was the daughter of William Graham, a Madison and Hocking township pioneer who brought his family from PA to Fairfield County. (Wiseman didn't see fit to give her first name, as old historians were fond of not doing!)

Wiseman also saw fit to mention that he was "a special friend of the late Dr. John Williams" (the famous scholar and teacher of Greenfield Academy) and that Griner himself "was a fine scholar."

Griner "broke down soon after this work [on Stonewall} was completed and for several years he was an invalid. He died leaving a wife (the Graham baby girl who came over the mountains in 1822) and five children."

To see if you had more about the building of Stonewall Cemetery, I sought information on the web and found your site. I thought you might be interested in the builder too, so I am sending you this information, with all its sidelights. Paul Molyneux, on his website, has Nathaniel Wilson designing and building the wall himself, along with his son Gustin Wilson, who he says completed the task. Apparently he didn't know about great great great Uncle C.F. Griner.

I too was a night visitor to Stonewall back in about 1960 when I was a teen...I lived in Birmingham, Alabama then but visited family in Lancaster and hung out with friends there. Late one night we went calling on the Wilson ghosts. But in the end we were afraid to enter and so we drank 3.2 beer from the safe height of the top of the wall. Fortunately we didn't know the legend about the ghosts pulling us inside or we'd have been terrified. Nothing happened.

I received the following e-mail from Daphnie in March 2009:

My name is Daphnie, and I live in Lancater, Ohio. I've lived in Lancaster all my life, and I have had personal experiences with the paranormal but never anything quite like this. My dad and I went out to Stonewall Cemetery back in January because he had never seen it and thought it was a peculiar set up for a cemetery. I agreed to take him out there, and we took pictures. It's broad daylight out, and he has a full charge on his camera. We then move to the back of the cemetery, and his camera dies. Just like that, the battery is dead. We came home and reviewed the pictures we took, and there is this bright red orb in a perfect circle on some of the frames. Throughout the sequence of frames, we are not moving. However, this bright red ball is moving towards us, then in another shot it darts inside the gate, hangs out for a bit, and then disappears just as quick as it appeared on the film.

We decided to return that night. We charged all the batteries my dad has for his camera. I took a digital voice recorder that I have for school. I start the EVP session, and he's snapping photos. With every word my dad says, my recorder goes on and off. We go back around to the back of the cemetery and we were still unable to take pictures, but the battery did not die. We left the cemetery and pull into the driveway right next to it. As I said, we had been taking pictures so we still had a full charge on the camera. My dad was unable to take a photo from the driveway. So, considering what happened that day, he takes a picture of my arm in the car, and it takes just fine. Goes to take the picture of the cemetery again, nothing. We go home and review the photos and voice session and to our discovery, we capture something on EVP. You can hear the cracking of the tape with every time that my dad said something. We review the photos and there is only ONE picture with a BLACK ORB that is a perfect circle. At the time that photo was snapped, I thought I had seen a shadow but didn't say anything to my dad. We haven't been back out to Stonewall Cemetery since that day. It was truly an amazing, yet creepy, experience.

I received the following e-mail from Michael Black in April 2009:

The Stonewall Cemetery was built by my ancestors.

I have never heard that it was built or designed by anyone but the family of Nathaniel Wilson III. It is the largest and finest non-mortared sandstone structure in the Midwest. If not the country.

"According to family tradition, it was built without mortar or the sound of voices."

"At the quarry and cemetery, Nathaniel read to the workmen from his Bible." while the workers remained silent.

It is also family legend that the cemetery was deeded to the President of the United States, then James Monroe, and his successors in a will witnessed by Thomas Ewing, who later became Secretary of the Interior, and was General Sherman's stepfather.

There is, however, no evidence that any President of the United States ever accepted the deed. When I contacted President Clinton's White House staff, they had no knowledge of it.

I am happy to see by your pictures that the cemetery is in good shape. It had been vandalized in the past. But it looks like it is in excellent condition these days.

Family legend also states that I would be entitled to be buried there. As would the President of the United States. But I seriously doubt my doubt anscestors would appreciate my company for eternity.

Quotes from Michigan heritage (?) Volume V Number 2 Winter 1963.

There is much more in the article, including copies of the Wilsons respective Wills.

I received the following e-mail from D.M. in August 2011:

The Wilsons were from Scotland. They were also decendents of the Druids. They believed they came from another place in the solar system called "Serius." Anyone who ever tries to harm any of them or their decendents in any way suffers great harm and/or death. I know this for a fact, because I am one of those decendents. The oldest living decendent in each family has extaordinary powers, and it is passed down at death to the next person. The Druids built Stonehenge in England. I chose to withhold my name, but this is all true.

If you have a story about Stonewall Cemetery, please feel free to e-mail me and I'll add your story to the site.

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