This small, historical cemetery is located on Chardon Road in Kirtland.  Williams Cemetery (aka West Kirtland or Marble Cemetery) is believed to have been established sometime in 1825.  According to Lake County Genealogical Society (LCGS) records, it is owned and maintained by the City of Kirtland, although its more common name is derived from the large Williams Family plot, which occupies the southeast corner of the cemetery.  

What seems to be typical of many rural, abandoned cemeteries, this one has no public drive or signpost, and appears out of nowhere along the road, surrounded by private residential property.  It lies behind a weathered fence that separates the graveyard from the road.



Though small, Williams Cemetery is crowded with the graves of at least 110 persons.



A large number of brownstone markers were found here.


Abigail Cummings.  She died in 1828 at the age of 24.


"In memory of Cynthia Hobart who died July 30, 1834." She was the young wife of Nathan Hobart, who is buried nearby.  Nathan later passed in 1880 at the good old age of 84.


Thomas Hobart, the young son of Nathan and Cynthia.  He died November 30, 1827 at the age of 4.


Below, the well-preserved Williams Family plot.  Most of these graves belong to the children of Alexander and Martha Williams.   Alexander's brother, Thomas, and his sister-in-law Nancy (nee Hawks) are also buried here.   Interestingly, the tombstones provide the place of birth of each family member.  With this information, we were able to conclude that the family first originated from Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The children died in the 1840's and 1850's. Martha died in 1857.  Alexander later passed in 1900.



This tombstone provides some intriguing history surrounding the Francis Family.  John and Julia's 3 children died young.  John died at the age of 74-75, in 1900.  Julia outlived them all.  Yet, she is not buried here.  What became of old Julia after her husband was laid to rest with her children?


Sad.  Here, the marker for 2 Pierce infants--H. Pierce and J. Pierce.  Their first names are not etched into the stone.  J. Pierce died in 1872 after living only 9 days. H. Pierce died in 1881 and was only 4 days old.  The older sibling is named first, leading us to believe that the parents could not afford a tombstone for the younger Pierce child at the time of his or her death.  Nearby was a larger marker for the graves of another Pierce descendant and his wife--Eben, who died in 1937 at the age of 70, and Nettie, who died earlier in 1908 at the age of 32.




Here, the graves of two young brothers who were lovingly memorialized by their parents.  To the left, Kemble P. Wheelock, who was 1 year old when he died on April 9, 1844.  The inscription is barely visible, although a 1999 transcription from LCGS provides the following: "A Father's boy and a Mother's joy, . . . thy didn't . . . a day . . . just to steal our hearts away."  After the death of Kemble, the Wheelock couple gave birth to Theodore.  Unfortunately, he passed away when he was only 2 years old, in 1847.  His inscription reads (with the help of LCGS): ". . . away by sudden . . . beautiful flower, in Paradise could bloom."   No other members of the Wheelock family were found here.


While investigating the cemetery, we noticed that some sections seemed to have insufficient ground cover--presumably from years of excessive soil erosion caused by runoff from the nearby highway.  Below are shots of graves on the northeast section of the cemetery, closest to the street.   The cement under the tombstones have become exposed, and the outlines of the coffins are visible above-ground.  Hopefully, the City of Kirtland will soon remedy this problem before any further damage is done to these families' dignity (and the integrity of the cemetery itself).