Historic Preservation

Chairman Vicki Tieche
Explore, document, and preserve the history of the township


Harlem School Memorial - Brick and Paver Orders

An order for bricks and pavers will be sent to the supplier on September 30, 2016 with installation in the school memorial this fall. If you've missed getting one, this is another chance to do it. Bricks are $50.00 and pavers $100.00. Application forms can be found here for: 
Download Brick Application 
Download Paver Application 
2010 TO DATE
In 2010 a project was undertaken to read all of the township cemeteries and record the information for posterity. The results of this effort are available to everyone in the USGenWeb Tombstone Transcription project, including an alphabetical listing of all Harlem Township burials. Click on image or link below for Delaware County  Tombstone Transcription Project is    http://www.usgwtombstones.org/ohio/delaware.htm .
In 2011 a project was begun to assure that all military veterans buried in Harlem Township have military flagholders. By the end of 2014, $2300 had been raised and 132  appropriate flagholders purchased for veterans from the Revolutionary War through modern conflicts. Anyone aware of military burials in the township including new ones that are without a flagholder should e-mail or call Vicki Tieche ([email protected] or 740-965-4535) so one can be obtained.
In 2011-12 we raised $850.00 for decorative name stones to be placed at the entrances of all the township cemeteries. Most of our cemeteries had no sign showing the cemetery name at that time. Hill Stone donated the stones to be used. Each stone has a brass plaque that gives brief information about the cemetery – when first (and last) used, donor of the land, etc.
Some of the funding for projects comes from people outside the township who need help finding their ancestors and are happy enough about the results they make a donation. In one such case, all the ancestors were found in Center Village Cemetery except the main two, and the WPA records indicated they were there; he was a Civil War vet. There was a large broken marker in the cemetery in about the place the markers should have been based on family lots. There was no name on the monument, only a military eagle. The marker had fallen over and been broken as the large tree in the cemetery grew. It was a 99% probability the monument was for the missing couple. We had the monument repaired and small stones cut for the couple and one more missing Civil War veteran in Center Village Cemetery and re-erected in a section where there were no burials.
From 2010 to 2013 we worked on raising $2500.00 through dinners and donations to purchase an Ohio Historic Marker to be placed on Gorsuch Road honoring Benajah Cook and other first settlers. Up until that time, Harlem Township had no State of Ohio historic markers. We held a beautiful dedication ceremony in the fall of 2013.

In 2014 Harlem Township was contacted by two Boy Scouts from Westerville asking for permission and guidance in doing Eagle Scout projects in Harlem Township Cemeteries. Both projects were closely supervised by Vicki Tieche.

Project 1 - Finding "lost" Tombstones

Finding four "lost" military burials - War of 1812 veteran Samuel Irwin in Fancher Cemetery, and Civil War veterans Henry Robbins in Fancher Cemetery, Joel Frizzell in Maple-Grove Cemetery, and John Baughman in Harlem Cemetery. Two of the four were located and the approximate burial locations of the other two was determined. Supplemental gravestones paid for by Harlem Township Heritage were cut for the four soldiers and put in place in the cemeteries.  

Project 2 - Restoring Tombstones

Restoration of two rows in Hanover-Snipetown Cemetery was picked for the second Eagle project. When the project started in the fall of 2014, several large stones were leaning badly and stones were broken and lying in the space between rows or against other stones. The Scouts located stones and pediments that had sunk below ground level, straightened leaning stones, mounted downed stones in concrete in their proper locations (determined by the 1947 reading of the cemetery), and mounted loose footstones beside the appropriate headstones.
For many years it had been the dream of members of the last graduating classes of Harlem High School to create a memorial to their alma mater – and that dream became a reality in 2015 through the efforts of Vicki Tieche and Harlem Township Heritage. Orders were taken for commemorative bricks and pavers, the sales of which and some donations provided the funding of about $6,500 for the memorial in the Community Park in Center Village. In addition to the brick and paver walkway in front of the memorial, the memorial incorporated the decorations and date plaque and some bricks from the 1923 high school, the name and date plaque and gateposts from the 1913 Harlem Township school, the bell from the 1871 Center Village School, and the name plaque and bell from one of the one room school houses. The memorial was dedicated after the opening parade at Harlem Township Days.
 All projects undertaken in our township cemeteries by Harlem Township Heritage require manpower and in some cases financial resources. Funding for projects comes from the sales of historical booklets about the township. Manpower is a matter of what volunteers can be found to help. On the wish list for future projects are:  
There are many old stones in our township cemeteries that are deteriorating and in many cases not readable any more. As funds allow, supplemental stones will be cut for the most critical of these using the information that was collected during the 1947 readings of our cemeteries and any other additional information that's been discovered.
 An example of one of the old stones needing a supplemental stone is the one for Revolutionary War veteran, Zimri Hills in Fancher Cemetery. Currently only a few letters of the name and the faint Masonic emblem are all that can be identified on the stone.
Zimri Hills was born in 1762 in Torrington, Litchfield, CT; enlisted in 1778, private under Col. Bebee and stationed near West Point under General McDouglas's Continental Troops; died July 16, 1834, age 71y8m
An example of a verse we've found on several stones is:
"Strangers look here as you pas by,
As you are now, so wonst was i.
As i be now so you must be,
Prepare your selves to follow me."
When we read the cemeteries in 2010 we were in a hurry to get all the information collected before the Bicentennial celebration. Because of that we wrote down only the names of the deceased for the newer graves (born after 1850) in Fancher and Maple Grove Cemeteries. As any genealogist knows, birth and death dates are critical for making family connections so we need to go back and correct this oversight.
An additional part of this project is to read as much as possible of the verses inscribed on any of the stones that have them. The verses provide insights into the lives of our township predecessors. 

This is happening on June 23rd, 2017.  click button below for more information.
Activity information 2017


All of our cemeteries need help to put them back as close as we can to the way they were. The township obviously went through a period of time when there was not much regard for the older stones in the cemeteries and they were allowed to fall over, break, become buried, etc. and no one took the time to put them back the way they had been.
Restoration in the cemeteries requires a lot of painstaking research in addition to muscle – partial stones that are inscribed need to be matched to other broken pieces and/or matched to the 1947 reading of the cemeteries (and there were probably buried stones in 1947), stones that are found that are not on the 1947 readings need to be matched to proper locations, and broken stones need to be repaired if possible. (We get help from the township on repairing stones if staff time allows.)
Restoration work is better done in the fall (or spring) when the temperatures are not so high. Anyone interested in helping with this should contact Vicki Tieche – 740-965-4535 or [email protected]