Stonewall Cemetery Park - Drive-by Bonus
Ohio Roadside Attraction
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” ― Edgar Allen Poe
Stonewall Cemetery Park is a unique cemetery. It was founded by Nathaniel Wilson III, in 1817. In 1838, he began working on the walls. He passed away in 1839 before it was completed. His son Gustin finished the project.
Black Hand Sandstone Walls
The walls of Stonewall Cemetery make this place special. They are 7 ft. high and made from Black Hand sandstone blocks. Each wall of the cemetery measures 29.5 feet long.
Nathaniel had the blocks quarried from Allen’s Knob. Allen's Knob is now part of Shallenberger State Nature Preserve. When visiting the Nature Preserve, you can see the quarry area which was located at the top of the knob. There is vegetation growing now, but the depression is visible.
The blocks do not have any mortar binding them together. This type of construction is known as dry-stone masonry. These walls are thought of as one of the best examples of dry-stone masonry in Ohio. They are formed in the shape of a dodecagon, which means 12-sided figure. There isn’t any known cemetery like it anywhere.
There are 9 marked graves in Stonewall Cemetery Park. Nathaniel Wilson II and his wife were exhumed from their resting place and moved to the cemetery in 1907. Their graves are not marked.
Nathaniel Wilson III
Polly M. Wilson
Child of Mandana Wilson Gallagher
Infant Daughter of Gustin and Marg Wilson
Son of Alice Peters
Nathaniel Wilson II
Wife of Nathaniel Wilson II
Which encloses the family burying ground of
NATHANIEL WILSON (one of the early Pioneers of
The West, who emigrated from Cumberland County Pa and settled
near this place AD 1798, when all around was one continued and uninhabited
wilderness) was commenced by him in AD 1838 & finished in the following year
by his son GUSTIN, the former having suddenly died May 12, 1839.
Ownership of Stonewall Cemetery Park
The President’s Cemetery
In 1817, Nathaniel Wilson III with the help of Thomas Ewing conveyed the cemetery to President James Monroe. The land was deeded to the President and his successors on October 24, 1817. It stated that Nathaniel Wilson and his heirs were to be buried on the property. Each new President was notified by Fairfield County officials that they were the trustee of the cemetery. Thereby giving Stonewall the local nickname of “The President’s Cemetery.”
The ownership of Stonewall Cemetery was transferred to Fairfield County in 1960.
Fairfield Heritage Association
In 1966, ownership was transferred to the Fairfield Heritage Association. They restored the historical cemetery. In 1978, it was opened for viewing.
Hocking Township Trustees
The Hocking Township Trustees took care of the historical Ohio park after it was vandalized numerous times under the ownership of Fairfield Heritage Association.
Fairfield County Historical Parks Commission
In 1998, ownership of Stonewall Cemetery Park was transferred to Fairfield County Historical Parks Commission.
Over the years the unique cemetery has been vandalized countless times. The stones have been broken and graffiti painted on the walls. You can no longer go into the cemetery. The gate is kept locked to deter any further vandalism.
Cedar of Lebanon Tree
Nathaniel Wilson III wanted a touch of the Holy Land in the cemetery. He had a cedar of Lebanon tree imported from Palestine. It was planted in the cemetery walls. After it died, Fairfield County Parks had it replaced with another cedar of Lebanon tree. Unfortunately, this tree also died and has not been replaced.
The entrance to Stonewall Cemetery faces geodetic true North.
What You Can Expect at Stonewall Cemetery Park
Please note that park rules and regulations can change at any time. The following information was in effect for Stonewall Cemetery Park as of March 2020.
There are NO bathrooms.
The cemetery sits near several homes. I do not believe that this would be a good place for bird watching.
Concealed carry is NOT permitted.
Pets must be supervised.
There are no trails. Cemetery sits on a flat area on top of a small hill. You do not have to walk the hill unless you want to look up at the cemetery.
Blacktop parking areas. Parking lot has 6 spots. There is one ADA space.
There is a picnic table.
There are a few benches.
There is a tree over the benches for shade.
No shelter house.
There is one ADA parking parking spot.