Price Hill has been called “the Distinctive Suburb,” and it was also once considered one of the largest neighborhoods anywhere in the United States. But it has yet another claim to fame: more cemeteries per square mile than any other community around Cincinnati. So, with Halloween around the corner, it’s time for a tour of Price Hill’s cemeteries, with a little historical information about each of them.
Old St. Joseph Cemetery is at Enright and West Eighth Streets. The 9.5 acre plot on the north side of West Eighth is known as the “Irish” cemetery, and the land for the Catholic cemetery was purchased by Archbishop Purcell in 1842. The south part is the “German” cemetery, and the first burials were in January 1843, when a child named Joseph Menke and an adult named John Herman Dornkamp were laid to rest.
New St. Joseph’s Cemetery is bounded by West Eighth Street, Rapid Run Pike, NEbraska and Pedretti Avenues, Foley Road, and Covedale Avenue. It is 175 acres, purchased by Archbishop Elder in 1854 and incorporated in 1880. Although dedicated at the same time, the eastern half of hte cemetery, directly bordering Nebraska Avenue, is officially known as Cathedral Cemetery. The cemeteries were originally designated as German Catholic, with areas set aside for other nationalities. Reuben R. Springer, the patron of Music Hall, is buried in New St. Joseph Cemetery.
Union Baptist Cemetery is on Cleves Warsaw Pike between Coronado Avenue and Nancy Lee Lane. It was established in 1864 by the congregation of the Union Baptist Church downtown. One of the oldest African-American cemeteries in Ohio, it includes the burials of veterans of wars from the Civil War on, as well as many ministers, teachers, lawyers, and politicians.
Potter’s Field is on Guerley Road, just past the last houses on the street. It consists of 25 acres of land that were set aside in 1849 as the City Cemetery for the burial of indigent or unknown persons. The cemetery is the final resting place of Civil War soldiers, patients who died of tuberculosis at Dunham Hospital, which was nearby, and others who died penniless or unknown. More than 10,000 people were buried at Potters Field before it was closed to burials in 1981. Most are in unmarked graves.
Across from Potter’s Field is one of many Jewish cemeteries in the area. Sunset Avenue bisects 45 acres of cemeteries that originally represented ten different Jewish congregations. At the foot of Guerley Road are the Schachnus Cemetery and the cemetery of the Montifiore Mutual Relief Society. On Sunset Avenue, you will find the cemetery of the Sisters of Chesah Shelemes, along with those of the congregation of Hirsch Hoffert and the Judah Touro Cemetery. Burials were made in the Judah Touro plot as early as 1855, when the cemetery was established by a verein, or mutual aid society.
On the west side of Sunset Avenue, you can see the cemetery of the K. K. Adath Israel Synagogue, and continuing up Gilsey to Talbert Avenue, the United Jewish Cemetery begins along the end of Rosemont Avenue and includes the burial plots of Spanish, Russian, and Polish Jews, as well as the Love Brothers and Taka Bethe congregations.
And that concludes the tour of cemeteries around Price Hill. Many cultures think of Halloween as a time when the barriers between the worlds of the living and the dead are breached, and visitors from beyond the grave may make an appearance. If there are ghosts to be seen at Halloween, the place to see them is in Price Hill, ringed by an eerie necklace of cemeteries.