Preserving the Past
Since 2009, the Vienna Historical Society has been overseeing a multiyear cemetery preservation project. Vienna Township has three historic cemeteries: Dunlap, Doud, and Vienna Center. Each gravemarker in each cemetery has now been documented and photographed. Repairing, resetting, and cleaning gravestones are ongoing activities.
A Brief History of Vienna Historical Society's Cemetery Preservation Efforts
In 2009 Vienna Historical Society established a Township cemeteries documentation and preservation project. Society members, Vienna residents, and many others have joined the effort. Youngstown State University intern Lauren Worona has coordinated the study and is now completing her Master's thesis on the Vienna Center Cemetery.
Seven volunteers documented the Doud Cemetery on Saturday, May 30, 2009. (The excellent doughnuts from the Fractured Prune, coffee, great weather, and good spirits helped the cause!) The Society was featured in this article in the Warren Tribune-Chronicle. For more on the cemetery project read these Tribune-Chronicle articles from 30 May and 31 May (featuring an image of Lauren Worona and Society member Pamela Klinger).
In August 2009 Laura Worona completed the documentation of the Dunlap Cemetery. Huzzah!
Society members gathered at the Township Green Gazebo on Saturday, September 19, 2009, and worked at the Township Cemetery from 9 A.M. until they were just too darn tired. Nearly 300 markers were documented and photographed! The Society thanks all the volunteers for their good cheer and energy: Vicki Anzur, Heidi Brown, Pam Clower, Warren Clower, Stephanie Durig, Michele Garman, Rachel Gibbs, Christen Higgins, Carol Novosel, Pamela Klinger, Donna J. Schieffer, Shirley Selbe, Shirley T. Wajda, and Lauren Worona. Thanks also to Ruth W. Miller, Sally Mazer, and Phil Pegg for their support! See the write-up in the Warren Tribune-Chronicle (25 September)!
Mathews High School Key Club members showed up in force on October 3, 4, and 5, 2009, to aid the Society's cemetery documentation project. The Club has adopted the cemetery as a community service project, and documented grave markers on Monday afternoons throughout the fall, weather permitting.
On April 27, 2010, the Society welcomed Ms. Worona at its monthly meeting. Ms. Worona offered an update on her research. (See the Warren Tribune-Chronicle article on the event here.) Ms. Worona reviewed through an illustrated lecture the lengthy gravemarkers and memorials documentation process undertaken over the last year by Society members, the Mathews Key Club, and members of the community. (Ms. Worona's PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here.) Many of Vienna's founding families are to be found in the inscriptions on the stones but there is also a long-forgotten potter's field. She also discussed the styles and materials of markers and memorials and offered recommendations for the much-needed repairs to several important stones. Ms. Worona and her research were also featured on the Youngstown State University Website!
The discussion that followed centered on the necessity of further preservation work in the Township's cemeteries. President Michele Garman organized three Cemetery Preservation Days in the summer of 2010: June 12, July 17, and August 21, from 9 AM to noon. Society and community members cleared brush, cleaned headstones, and surveyed the Center Cemetery for further preservation work. Read about the project in the Warren Tribune-Chronicle.
In 2009, a brief tour of the Vienna Township Cemetery was created, based on Carley O'Neill's research for the Township's bicentennial history. This tour proved popular, and in 2010 the Society hoisted its first Historic Cemetery Walk. Some sixty visitors toured the older section of the cemetery. The Warren Tribune-Chronicle's coverage of this event is available here, and the tour is available here.
"Vienna and the Civil War" was the theme of the 2011 Cemetery Walk, held on October 22 and 23. The tour is available hereThe 2012 Cemetery Walk, entitled "Vienna's Women Pioneers and Pioneering Women," is available here.
If you have any information you wish to share about any of Vienna's historic cemeteries, please contact the Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vienna Cemetery and an Historian's Quest
Read how one historian's research led her to Vienna and the Township's Center Cemetery at the online history site, Common-place: Alden O'Brien, "Beyond Words: Sylvia's Diary."