Dressed in period mourning attire, Kathy Dowd stands in Haughton Cemetery in light wind and rain with re-enactors during the Greater Toledo Civil War Roundtable’s annual cemetery walk.
It's easy to miss the history in Haughton Cemetery, or at least it was.
The tiny cemetery in West Toledo on Central Avenue near Secor Road, is the smallest in the city, surrounded by shops and a gas station that nearly hide it from drivers' views. And until Sunday, the stories of some of its most distinguished residents were even further obscured.
Dori Wolf, left, and Lois Helm-Webb, related to the Haughton family, listen to speakers. One of Ms. Helm-Webb’s ancestors, Ira Haughton, is among the Civil War veterans buried there.
Members of the Greater Toledo Civil War Roundtable placed Grand Army of the Republic markers at eight graves of former soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War; there previously had been no markers that signified their service.
"A lot of people drive past this and they don't even know it's here," roundtable vice president Robyn Hage said.
About 30 people participated in a cemetery tour and ceremony honoring the Civil War veterans Sunday. Tour guides from the roundtable gave personal and service histories of the soldiers, braving wind and light rain.
Some soldiers outlasted the war. Others, such as Henry Brown of the 130th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, were victims of the conflict. Mr. Brown was killed while his wife was pregnant, according to tour guides.
Lois Helm-Webb, 89, came because her relatives once owned the land around the cemetery, and her ancestor, Ira Haughton, was one of the Civil War veterans buried there. It was the first time she'd been to the cemetery, and she plans to come back now.
Maston Jaquillard, 11, a sixth grader at Navarre Elementary, puts flags on graves of Civil War Veterans during the annual cemetery walk. He said it was an 'honor to do it.'
The roundtable holds annual cemetery walks; this year, they chose Haughton in particular because of the new markers.
Ms. Hage said the markers for the veterans are important because American Legion members only place flags on Veterans Day at gravestones marked as for veterans. Students at Navarre Elementary, where Ms. Hage is a teacher, raised about $400 last year to pay for the markers.
Navarre students placed U.S. flags at each marker, and Kathy Dowd - dressed as a Civil War era widow - placed flowers by each grave. Ms. Dowd runs Heritage Rose Designs, a Toledo-based apparel reproduction business, and made her mourning attire herself.
"We need to recognize (Civil War veterans), even if it's 150 years later," she said.
Maston Jaquillard, 11, a sixth grader at Navarre, helped plant the flags and was part of the fundraiser. He said it was fun, and he learned about some of the soldiers who were buried in the cementery.
"It was an honor to do it," he said.
After the tour, members of the Battery H, First Ohio Light Artillery and First U.S. Sharpshooters reenactment group fired a 21-gun salute and played "Taps" to honor the veterans.
Joe Pelton, who has done reenactments for a decade, said he was glad to participate in the ceremony, to give the soldiers the respect they deserved.
"It's good to not forget history," he said.
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