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Lake County Genealogical Society

Waite Hill Cemetery
Inscriptions Waite Hill Cemetery Section Map

Although this cemetery might be thought to be in old Willoughby Township by current maps, it was originally in Kirtland. As Willoughby gained more land it split the cemetery down the middle. In fact, the Featherstone plot was half in Kirtland and half in Willoughby. When Waite Hill was formed, some of each township was incorporated, making it wholly in the jurisdiction of the Village of Waite Hill. However, it remains in two different taxing districts–the west half is Waite Hill, Willoughby district, and the east half is Waite Hill, Kirtland district.

This beautiful rural cemetery is fronted with a split rail fence, and has horse pastures around it. The old sections are in the front, and the newer sections are toward the rear, in the south end of the cemetery.

In a part of an undocumented letter by a child of William Tinkham, and in the possession of Margot Baldwin, it is written,

"Grandfather Tinkham in the autumn of 1840 purchased from William Waite twenty-two acres on Waite Hill which is now known to the older residents as the "Gridley Place," for the sum of $140. "It was adjoining this place that the plot for the Waite Hill Cemetery was laid out. Grandfather Tinkham and Jesse Tryon who owned a farm on the opposite side, gave the plot of land for the original cemetery."

This information is consistent with the earliest death dates on gravestones. Marcia M. Tryon, daughter of Jesse and Eunice Tryon died 12 March 1820. This was followed by daughters of Erastus and Mercy Waite–Spedy who died 13 Aug 1822 and Clarrinda who died 9 Aug 1822. There are several Tinkhams in the cemetery, as well. It appears that Roxana Tinkham, William's mother, was a Waite.

Additional evidence is in the deed records. Volume 145, page 645 states the parcel (#12) is "the same piece of land as conveyed by Walter S. Tinkham unmarried, Olive Tinkham unmarried, and Amelia Tinkham unmarried to Willoughby Township by Quit Claim deed recorded in Vol. 56 pg. 308 of Lake County record of deeds." This is probably the west part of section 1 and totals 0.60 acres.

The second parcel (also parcel #12) is "the same piece of land as conveyed by Eliza G. Waite, widow, to Willoughby Township by Warranty Deed in Volume 59 page 71 of the Lake County Records of Deeds." This is also part of parcel #12, and is probably the western part of section 2.

Willoughby Township deeded these parcels to Waite Hill for $1.00 on 3 July 1931 (Vol. 137, pg. 461)

On 26 July 1915 heirs of H.J. Caldwell, deceased, deeded 42/100 acres to the Kirtland Township trustees for $54.13 (Vol. 57, pg. 541). This is the east part of section 1. On 13 March 1931, Waite Hill bought this from Kirtland (Vol. 137 pg. 461.).

As the cemetery was filled, and it was not clear always which graves were open, the sections need to be closed, and the city sought more land. 11 December 1954 another parcel (#15) of 0.40 acres came into the hands of Waite Hill. This is the east part of sections 3 and 4, consisting of 0.40 acres.

The west part of sections 3 and 4 consist of 0.63 acres, and are platted to the Village of W.H., but no deed volume was stated.

The area to the west of the main drive was purchased from Charles F. McCahill, unmarried, for $10.00 on 29 December 1961. This was 30 feet of frontage and a strip the entire length of the cemetery, adding a total of 0.336 acres, probably for widening the drive and fence maintenance. It is recorded in Vol. 543, pg. 285.

Section 1 appears as an old cemetery graced with marble monuments and many large marble tablet stones. The original drive which was a horseshoe with two entrances from the road has been redirected to the rear around the new section and the drive on the east side of section one has been returned to grass for burial use. The rows were read from west to east and the stones from north to south.

Section 2, directly behind section 1, and a path between does not appear much different from section 1, except it does have more granite stones than marble. The rows were read from west to east and the stones from north to south.

Section 3 is a much newer appearing section with mostly granite markers and a few trees. There are many empty graves in this section. The rows were read from west to east and the stones from north to south.

Section 4 is behind the drive to the south and may consist of about four rows. The stone placement is quite erratic, however, so rows were not used. In this reading the stones were read from the west end to the east, reading whichever stone came next, regardless of how far north or south it was. The stones face north in this section.

The entire cemetery was proofed and new stones added on 28 July 2000.

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