Walnut Grove Cemetery

Dating from 1795, the cemetery is Martins Ferry’s oldest pioneer landmark. It is the resting place of the Zane and Martin families, as well as veterans dating from the Revolutionary War.

A veteran of the Mexican War is buried there, with the date on this stone being 1849. The Betty Zane statue, at the entrance of the cemetery, is a reminder of the heroine of the last battle of Fort Henry. She was named the foremost American heroine by President Theodore Roosevelt for her famous run for gunpowder to save Fort Henry. The monument was financed by Martins Ferry school children and dedicated in 1928,  a century after her death.

Ebenezer Zane carved Zane’s Trace through the wilderness and helped to establish at least three cities; Wheeling, Zanesville, and Lancaster.

When Captain Absalom Martin died in January, 1802, at the age of 43, he was buried in the upper end of a fine stand of black walnut trees on a bluff overlooking his farm on the bottomland beside the Ohio River. When his young son, Ebenezer, grew up and took over management of the farm, he continued to use that spot as a private burying ground for his relatives. However, the town he founded in 1835 had no public cemetery, so he surrounded the family area with a wall, and allowed the townspeople to bury in the open spaces of the grove.

Originally, Walnut Grove was 20 acres and contained around 100 trees. A tornado hit Walnut Grove in 1887 and only 17 trees were left standing. Today, it consists of one acre. Ebenezer and Minerva Zane Martin sold the cemetery’s land to the town of Martins Ferry in 1866 for $100.

The cemetery also contains a Civil War cannon used by the Confederate forces. A historical marker was dedicated there in 1999.

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Cathryn Stanley
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North 4th Street, Martins Ferry, Ohio 43935, United States

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