Historic Bridgetown cemetery: A reflection of a changing community

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Southern New Hampshire University
Bridgetown Cemetery, a small 22-acre cemetery located in the Bridgetown suburb of Cincinnati Ohio, is technically two cemeteries contained in one property. The first cemetery, named the First German Protestant Cemetery of Green Township, was established in 1864 in the Bridgetown community of Green Township, Hamilton County Ohio. It was established by German Protestant immigrants of the area, as a place to bury their loved ones in a rural area with a lack of burial options. As the population of Cincinnati, and subsequently Green Township and Bridgetown grew, so did the numbers of burials in the cemetery. Due to being laid out haphazardly in family lots, with no discernible rows, the cemetery found that its space for burials was quickly running out. In 1939, the trustees purchased 12.7 acres of adjacent land to expand the cemetery. After WWII, the cemetery developed the land to mimic the quickly suburbanizing area of Green Township and Bridgetown. Family lots and large 10 ft high headstones were left to the original sections, and the new sections saw straight rows, rigid height restrictions on headstones, and community monuments and gardens with landscaping, mimicking the changing tastes of the community surrounding the cemetery after WWII. This change in culture in both the cemetery and surrounding community will be shown using the archives of the cemetery and the construction of two walking tours, one showcasing the original cemetery and its unique features, and the other showing the new sections and how different the appearance is of the layout of the cemetery. (Author abstract)