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Grave Matters: Gravel Bank

Warren Twp. home to burial place of Ephraim Cutler

January 28, 2012
By Ashley Rittenhouse (arittenhouse@mariettatimes.com) , The Marietta Times

WARREN TWP.-After two years of teaching classes about area cemeteries with his wife Nancy, Jim Hoy had a clear favorite: Gravel Bank Cemetery.

"It's a happy cemetery," said Hoy, of Devola, who taught the classes as part of Marietta College's Learning in Retirement program. "One guy had a metal tombstone and he had his sunglasses draped over it and one of the grave sites had a plastic Adirondack chair so you can sit down and have a rest. It' s a cemetery where the dead people are not forgotten. That's what makes it my favorite."

Gravel Bank Cemetery is located on Gravel Bank Road off Ohio 7 in Warren Township, near what was once a school. It sits atop a hill near Midway Machining, Inc. and part of it can be seen from the highway. It has also been referred to as Riverview Cemetery.

Article Photos

ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
Dressed as Ephraim Cutler, re-enactor Richard Dean, of Athens, looks over Cutler’s grave site in the Gravel Bank Cemetery Friday. There are more than 1,000 people buried in the cemetery, which is owned by Warren Township.

It is one of five owned by the township, according to township trustee Robert Lemasters.

"We take good care of that cemetery. We maintain it and take care of the graves and keep it mowed," Lemasters said.

Lemasters added that it is an active cemetery, although it is running low on space. According to www.findagrave.com, there are 1,213 interments there, with some dating back to the 1800s.

Fact Box

Gravel Bank Cemetery:

- Located near Gravel Bank Road off Ohio 7 in Warren Township.

- One of five cemeteries owned by Warren Township, it is still active.

- One of the most notable people buried there is Ephraim Cutler, known for casting the deciding vote making Ohio a free state at the state's constitutional convention in Chillicothe in 1802.

"We extended the cemetery lots towards the school there so we can get more people from Warren Township in there," he said.

The most well known person buried in Gravel Bank Cemetery is Ephraim Cutler, Washington County's first judge. He was born in Edgartown, Ma. in 1767 and died in 1853, four months after he was injured as a result of his horse slipping on ice.

Athens resident Richard Dean has been an Ephraim Cutler re-enactor for almost 15 years. He said Cutler moved to Ohio because his first wife, Leah Atwood, had fallen ill and somebody convinced them Ohio's climate would be better for her.

They arrived in the Marietta area in 1795. Cutler had homes in Waterford and Constitution and his home in Amesville still stands today.

Cutler is best known for casting the deciding vote making Ohio a free state at the state's constitutional convention in Chillicothe in 1802.

That almost didn't happen, though, as Cutler was ill on the day of the convention and had to be dragged out of bed by Rufus Putnam and Paul Fearing so he could cast his vote.

"Ohio came into the union as a free state by one vote," Dean said. "This set the anti-slavery trend for all other states formed in the Northwest Territory."

Veto Lake was named for Cutler's role in having slavery vetoed in Ohio.

 
 

 

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