Old Shumway Cemetery of Scioto County, Ohio

Location: Harrison Township, off RT 335 just south of Minford.

The land adjoining Shumway (there are no signs for the cemetery) is located behind two homes to the south side of the Sunshine Church of Christ. Park at the church lot. Looking east towards the airport you will see a small forested area behind the two homes. This is where the older section of Shumway is located. A small, more recent section of Shumway is situated in the back yard of a yellow house, the second house from the church. This yellow house was once church property before the new Sunshine Church building was erected.

(Click on a thumb for larger image.)

Jacog Gilliland Jacob Gilliland
Government-issue Civil War headstone for Jacob Gilliland, who served with the 140th Regiment, Ohio Infantry (National Guard). Jacob (02 Apr 1827 - 27 Feb 1875) was a son of Samuel and Sarah (Krouskop) Gilliland and a descendant of the line of Nathan Gilliland. Samuel and Sarah are buried at Stephenson Cemetery in Hamilton Twp, Jackson County, Ohio.

Lucetta (White) Gilliland

Lucetta (White) Gilliland
The stone for Lucetta (White) Gilliland, whose parents are also buried at Old Shumway. The inscription reads:

Consort of
Jacob Gilliland
and Daughter of
Daniel and Sarah White
Died June 24 1855
Aged 23 yrs 8 mos & 13 days

Lucetta (White) Gilliland

Henry E. Gilliland
The stone for Henry E. Gilliland. The inscription reads:

Henry E.
Son of J. & .L. Gilliland
Died May 13 1856
Aged 3 yrs 9 mos 4 days

Lucetta (White) Gilliland

George W. Gilliland
The stone for George W. Gilliland. The inscription reads:

George W.
Infant Son of
J. & L. Gilliland
March 29 1855
aged 7 mos 26 days

Shumway Cemetery

A view of the restored cemetery. Lucetta Gilliland's stone is the dark-colored marker in the middle of the photo, with Jacob Gilliland's smaller military stone to the right. Behind the fencing is the runway of the Scioto County airport.

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Kate's Notes

Most references I've seen refer to a Shumway #1 and Shumway #2 in order to differentiate the older and newer sections of Shumway, which are separated by walking distance. Since I am not familiar with which is supposed to be #1 and #2, I am simply referring to them as the older and newer sections, with the older one located in the wooded area. I did not explore the newer cemetery as the residents of that house were not around at the time I was visiting. However, I was pleasantly greeted by the residents of the other home, Wayne and Irmalee Gampp, who invited me to cross their property and to explore Old Shumway.

This is one of those rare success stories of an historic cemetery that has been lovingly restored by a private and caring citizen of the community. Wayne Gampp had grown up on the family farm which is now the regional airport. At that time, Old Shumway was located at the back of the Gampp family's property and he remembered riding out to the cemetery on his bicycle to spend many an hour of his boyhood reading the old stones.

After the Gampp property was purchased for the airport, the land that included Old Shumway became county property. Unfortunately, one of first things that happened after that transfer was the harvesting of the old growth forest, including many stately oaks, a process which caused considerable damage to the cemetery. Wayne stated that before the trees were cleared it was an easy walk through the cemetery, as the shade of the tree canopy prevented growth of underbrush and briars. With the large trees cut down, it wasn't long before the cemetery was swallowed up by an explosive growth of underbrush. Over time the condition had become so severe that the cemetery became nearly impassable and its true condition could not be determined.

Yet Wayne Gampp had not forgotten Old Shumway. When he and his lovely wife Irmalee took a home near the old cemetery, he determined to restore this final resting place to the one he remembered as a boy. So he took upon himself the herculean task of clearing Old Shumway of all the brush and briars that had concealed it. (You can still see some evidence of the work that was involved.) Then he began the process of finding the stones, many of which had by this time been broken or buried. He accomplished this painstaking task with a probe, finding a number of stones that had become completely buried. Other large stones that had been broken from their base are now upright, supported by trees, stones, or supports.

Sadly, some stones were beyond saving but the ones that remain serve as monuments to the historic nature of the cemetery. I had sought out Old Shumway to record the old Gilliland family stones there and was delighted to find they are among those which have survived. I also took photos of some White family markers, many of which have also survived.

Walking peacefully through the now-cleared resting place for old Scioto County pioneers, I came to fully realize just how much hard, dirty work it must have taken to restore Old Shumway as Wayne Gampp had done. Chatting with him later, he was totally self-effacing about this accomplishment, stating that he simply wanted to restore Old Shumway to the place he had known as a boy. Anyone who visits the cemetery now will appreciate his humility but realize that there was also a lot of love invested in this restoration. Old Shumway is proof that one devoted citizen with civic pride, a sense of history and unwavering determination, can make a difference -- not for monetary reward or public accolades, but simply because it's the right thing to do for those who have come before us and for those who will follow.