ALTERNATE NAMES: River Road Cemetery
LOCATION: west side of River Styx Rd. (CR-49); across from Ridgewood Rd. (TR-60); up on a wooded hill
CURRENT OWNER: this cemetery currently has no owner
ACCESS: private – use residence driveway; ask permission
SIZE: 0.25 acre
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF BURIALS: about 15
EARLIEST KNOWN BURIAL: 1823 – Fanny Currier
MOST RECENT KNOWN BURIAL: March 24, 1859 – Amasa Smith
GPS: N 41° 07’ 17.0”; W 81° 48’ 49.0”
PERMANENT PARCEL #: 030-11B-20-035 (Medina County Engineer’s Overhead View)
ORIGINAL LOT #: Lot 68 (Lot 131, Rustic Hills Subdivision IV)
TOWNSHIP, RANGE: T2N: R14W
VETERANS BURIED IN PHELPS-HILL CEMETERY:
Daniel R. Smith War of 1812
Thomas Currier, a native of New York, settled in the northeastern part of Montville Township and was one of the first trustees. Amasa Smith settled shortly afterwards and bought land just south of Currier. Both were living in Montville by 1820.
The land was still owned by Aristarchus Champion when Currier’s wife Fanny was buried here in 1823. No other burials are known to have occurred prior to the property being sold to Jairus Chadwick on November 8, 1833 (Volume H, page 50) and then to Moses Hill Sr. shortly thereafter on December 3, 1833 (Volume H, page 51).
Moses Hill Sr. came to Montville Township in 1833; bringing with him his wife Hannah (nee Vincent) and their son, Moses Jr.
When Hill sold the property to Ephraim Delong on July 6, 1850 (Volume 1, page 23) we see the cemetery is mentioned as exempt:
“…excepting and reserving the small hill on the premises heretoafter used as a burying ground to (be) used by the inhabitants in the neighborhood for a burying ground heretoafter the quantity thus reserved not to exceed one fourth of an acre.”
Mention of the cemetery can be found in every deed from that transfer to Ephraim Delong all the way through the 1940’s where is still mentioned very clearly – “excluding cemetery”. Eventually the cemetery disappeared from mention in future deed transfers and, when the surrounding land was sold to the Rustic Hills Development Corp. in 1961, it was simply `worked around’.
Actually, this is two separate cemeteries: the Phelps and Hill cemeteries. Winifred Wolcott referred to them in her research as “two cemeteries in one iron enclosure”. How Wolcott made this distinction is unclear but given that her research was done in the early 1900’s before the cemetery was vandalized, we have to take her on her word. The iron enclosure referred to has long since disappeared.
According to Wolcott, the Hill cemetery contained only the burials of the Hill family. The Phelps cemetery contains the other burials. She refers to both as `private’. The language of the deed exemption would seem to contradict that these were private cemeteries but given the limited number of burial information available, proving otherwise might be impossible.
Collectively, this site has been referred to as the River Road Cemetery as River Styx Rd. used to be called the River Road.
The cemetery is in extremely poor condition. A May 10, 1969 Medina County Gazette article tells of how the cemetery was brutally vandalized. This occurred while the cemetery was still mostly open and clear. This burial plot has been without official ownership for some time and has not been maintained. For this reason, little remains of the burial plot and many of the stones are scattered about the area which is now completely wooded.