A tour of Bay Village’s historic Lakeside Cemetery last Sunday gave a few hundred residents a great chance to enjoy perfect autumn weather and also meet community ancestors reenacted at the grave sites. This opportunity to learn about life in early Dover Township was planned in cooperation by the Bay Village Historical Society and Huntington Playhouse.
Tours departed from both Huntington Playhouse and Lakeside Cemetery. Participants also got a brief history of Huntington Playhouse and a backstage tour. Seven actors were at Lakeside Cemetery, where they related the intriguing stories of seven individuals buried in the cemetery. The historic cemetery is the site of the first burial in what was then Dover Township, 200 years ago.
The cemetery was established in 1814 when tragedy struck Rebecca Johnson Porter, her infant son Dennis, and George Smith all drowned at the mouth of the Rocky River after returning from Cleveland by boat. Reuben and Sarah Osborn, Rebecca’s sister, were devastated and thus donated a portion of their land next to Rebecca’s house where her sister and nephew could be buried.
The original portion of the cemetery is comprised of six rows with headstones bearing the names of familiar roads in Bay Village like Cahoon, Wolf and Osborn. The cemetery was expanded in 1877 when David Osborn, Reuben’s grandson, purchased additional lakeside land for the munificent sum of $9.97! The plots were then made available for $5 or $6 each. There are 270 known burials in Lakeside Cemetery, most occurring from 1879-1919. An Ohio Historical Marker was placed at Lakeside Cemetery in the past few years. The most recent burial is that of T. Richard Martin, long-time Bay Village City Council President, interred in 2011.