This may be Ohio's most forgotten, abandoned cemetery.  No sign marks the entrance to Potter's Field.  If you drive down Green Road in Highland Hills, you will surely miss it.  The narrow driveway is barely visible in between the trees.  Assuming you are successful in finding it, you may doubt at first whether you are in the right place.  There are no grave markers--save for a few faded wooden stakes in the back. 



You know you will have found it when you spot this memorial rock, located further down the drive way.  On it is inscribed this Biblical passage:

Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give unto you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.



Established in 1904 by the City of Cleveland, Potter's Field is the burial ground of the poor, the homeless, and those whose bodies had been unclaimed.  Some were victims of crime, others were criminals themselves.  Here, there is nothing to distinguish them apart. 

There are roughly 4 sections of this cemetery, mostly comprised of grassy land isolated in thick walls of trees.  Burials have subsided in recent years, as the city has resorted to more cremations due to budget constraints.  


At one time, the older graves were marked by numbered, wooden stakes.  However, they have disappeared over time. In the back right lot, where the more recent burials are located, wooden stakes can be found among the mounds of dirt.  Yet, the numbers are already fading.  Soon, these markers will be lost, too.






"Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water."

John Keats




"Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
And not neglected; for a hand unseen,
Scattering its bounty like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green."

Wadsworth Longfellow




"And alien tears will fill for him
Pity's long-broken urn,
For his mourners will be outcast men,
And outcasts always mourn."


Oscar Wilde





"Let there be no inscription upon my tomb. Let no man write my epitaph. No man can write my epitaph. I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare calumniate me. Let my character and motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice."

Robert Emmet




"Against you I will fling myself,
unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!"

Virginia Woolf


"Here Lies the Body of a Man Who Died
Nobody Mourned - Nobody Cried
How He Lived - How He Fared
Nobody Knows - Nobody Cared"

John Starkwether

Potter's Field is located on Green Road, North of Harvard Road and South of the nearby Highland Hills golf course.  No hours are posted, but it is presumed that the property is closed at night.  While the graveyard is part of the Highland Park Cemetery, burial records are maintained by the City of Cleveland.

Many thanks goes out to Dirt Lawyer for sharing information about Potter's Field and providing helpful directions.

For more information on Potter's Field, check out this interesting 1/10/02 article by Lisa Putre in Scene magazine.