Old Dutch Cemetery, Highland County, Ohio
A couple of years ago, I got inspired to take a cemetery road trip. Both my husband and I have family members who were early settlers in several southern Ohio counties and I got the brilliant idea that we could take a drive down to visit four cemeteries where we would most likely find the gravesites of some of our ancestors. Beginning with my Shoemaker ancestors in Old Dutch Cemetery in Highland County, Ohio, following up with Locust Grove Cemetery near Peebles in Adams County, Ohio and finishing up with my husband's Odle-O'Dell family at Friendship and Odle-Piatt Cemeteries in Turkey Creek, Scioto County, Ohio. With the use of Google Maps and good advice from some helpful online friends, I created an itinerary that I thought would make for trip of great discovery. Now, I just had to convince my family this would be fun. My husband wasn't hard to convince. Even though he really didn't have a clue which of his relatives I was really looking for, he was ready for some time away from his job. job. The kids were going to be a harder sell. Two teenaged and one "tween" boy were not going to be enamoured by the thought of driving for several hours and stopping only to visit cemeteries where they were going to be put to work looking for names. So, I decided I would make this a getaway weekend and we would find a motel with a pool for a night. I figured if they knew there was a pool and some in room movies waiting for them, I could get them through the 6 or 8 hours of sheer agony they were going to have to endure. So I presented them with the agenda, and even though they weren't thrilled, they decided it might not be torture.
With their acceptance, I began to check out the cemeteries a little more closely so I would be prepared when I arrived. The one that most concerned me was Old Dutch. It looked as though it was located in the middle of a cornfield and according to some accounts I read, it was surrounded by a locked gate. Oh great. How was I going to get someone to unlock the gate for me. I emailed the Highland County Sheriff's Dept. and asked if someone could unlock the gate for me when I arrived. They must have thought I was completely daft because I never received an answer. So, I decided I would take a small ladder along; just in case!