Here you can read about some of the history and view our photography of Ferncliff Cemetery


About the time of the Civil War, the rapid growth of Springfield showed that Greenmount Cemetery was not adequate for city needs.
On June 13, 1863 William Warder brought the matter up before City Council. A Plan was organized in which shares of $300.00 each ($10,000.00 in all)
were issued and in 1864 the cemetery was dedicated.

Original officers of Ferncliff Cemetery were:

S.A. Bowman
D. Shaffer
G.S. Foos
Chandler Robbins
William Warder
John Ludlow

In the center of the seventy acres bought from the Bechtle Estate was the Soldiers Mound with 208 Civil War veterans graves.

The Soldiers Mound

The final resting place
of over two hundred Civil War soldiers
Mausoleums of Governor Bushnell, John W. Bookwalter, P.P. Mast and W.H. Blee are impressive memorials.

The Bushnell Mausoleum
A massive granite shaft marks the grave of John H. Thomas and dominates the older portion of the cemetery.
A lake was later given by O.S. Kelley (whose piano plate manufacturing business is still open to this day!)

The first superintendant -- 1863 to about 1905 -- was John Dick.
He had studied landscape design in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinbourough.
A gothic office building was erected in May of 1930.
(office pic coming soon)

This crypt was in use during the burial practices of early days. Bodies were received here since graves could not be prepared when the ground was frozen. The crypt is not used for this purpose today.

Godfrey Frankenstein's body was the last person placed here when he died February 24, 1873.

The name Machpelah is the name of the cave in the biblical city of Hebron. In this cave were buried Abraham, Sarah, Rebeka, Issac, Jacob and Leah.

(Ben 23: 19)

A legend of love when the world was young centered around "Weeping Rock" in Ferncliff Cemetery.

Indian legend weaves the sweet story around the undying love of two heavenly guardians placed on earth by the great Manitou to watch over the red deer, elk and the smaller winged creatures.

The tale goes that Manitou made the four legged creatures and birds out of clay and into these bodies he breathed the breath of life, and he placed the creatures on the earth he had created to amuse him. From the other world he called spirits whom he clothed in bodies not unlike his own and these spirits went in pairs to take command over the creatures.The legend narrates that each of the embodied spirits had four souls. When released, one would return to the land of souls, one would remain forever in the body and one would go to the north and the last to the south. Such were Jess-A-bo, who ruled the red deer and elk, and his wife, Le-Le-No, who had charge of the winged creatures, and they were very much in love.

Jess-A-Bo and Le-Le-No were very happy in the paradise they had found when the jealous and bad spirit, Ge-an-da came and was filled with hate at their contentment. She besought the tortoise, who still held the world on his back, to shake the earth at sundown, and he did, and Jess-a-bo was knocked senseless. When his sense returned he sought Le-le-no, compelled to remain where her body lay, and above and around circled the wood dove, calling in plaintive notes to his mate.

Jess-a-bo fled from Gen-an-da's welcome, and went to the island of the souls, where he was united again with Le-le-no beause they had been true to each other in life.

The great Manitou was dis-pleased with Ge-an-da, and he destroyed her body with the four souls.

But still the columbine shakes its red bells over the cliff - "The Weeping Cliff" - so the legend goes, and the ferns clamber over it, and the fourth soul of Le-le-no still weeps, for the stone is always covered with her "tears".

The above details regarding this cemetery were found in the reference section of the Warder Public Library, Springfield, Ohio
Copyright 2006 + Beyond
Springfield Ghost Hunters Society

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These are the "tears" of the legend below
Springfield Ghost Hunters Society