One of the most interesting, and eerie, cemeteries in this region.  Hidden within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park just east of  Peninsula, this abandoned Irish cemetery lies sequestered within the woods adjacent to the Happy Days Visitor Center on Route 303.  Curiously, this cemetery was owned by the Mother of Sorrows Church, the notorious "satanic" church of Helltown legend.  Its worshippers are buried here.

 

According to records from the Summit County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, Mater Dolorosa Cemetery (misspelled on this sign), aka Cassidy Cemetery, was established in 1869.

 

 

 

The cemetery seems large for its size--approximately 11 to 13 headstones. In actuality, at least 23 persons are known to be buried here. Upon a review of historical records, at least 5 graves remain unaccounted for.

 

A wide view of the gated Cassidy Family plot.

 

 

Another view, taken from the rear of the graveyard. The tombstones become barely visible among the trees.

Tombstone of Michael Raleigh, d. June 4, 1873. Notice the image of a face on the marker, just right of the cross near the top.

 

 

Broken tombstone(s). Illegible.

 

Close-up of the Cassidy Family plot. The "purple haze" is most likely a sun glare. Before drawing any hasty conclusions, please review the original, full-sized version, which appears below.

The Cassidy Family plot: Patrick, d. 10-17-1885, age 85 years, and Margaret, d. 11-4-1885, age years. Husband and wife, they passed within weeks of each other.
 

 

     Weathered tombstone of Johana O'Keefe, d. 1874.

 

 

Believed to be the oldest marked grave. On the opposite side of the visitor center and cemetery, we found these ruins of an old structure.

 

 

Though not yet confirmed, this foundation may be the remains of a barn or farmhouse belonging to the Doud family. OGES records indicate that the cemetery was originally intended as the Doud Family plot, but was subsequently transferred in 1869 to the Mother of Sorrows Church, for use by its congregation.

 

UPDATES:

10/6/03:  For some interesting ghostly coverage of Mater Dolorosa cemetery, check out the Haunting Tales of Mater Dolorosa in the 9/30/03 updates on Ghost Roads of Ohio.