Old Burying Ground  LbNA # 35314 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateSep 20 2007
LocationColumbus, OH
Found By Rosella Lee
Last Found Jun 13 2012
Hike Distance?

Old Burying Ground

Bring along your own markers or stamp pad, and pen.

This letterbox is located in Franklinton’s Old Burying Ground, at the intersection of McKinley Avenue and Souder Road. It is accessible from the Olentangy River Greenway Bike Path and is also an easy walking distance from Trailtracker’s "Columbus Skyline" and "The Old Ohio Penitentiary" stamps. (If you are on bicycle, there are other great stamps within easy ride as well.)


Lucas Sullivant, founding father of Franklinton and Columbus, gave land and funds for the Ohio statehouse, the Ohio penitentiary, the courthouse, for schools, and for the church that once stood within this burying ground. The first church was built here in 1811. The government stored grain in it during the War of 1812, and after a heavy deluge which caused the grain to swell, the grain burst the church’s brick walls. Damages were paid and a second church was built. Eventually the congregation expanded, and a larger church was built at another location.

The cemetery was once about twice as large as it is today; it used to extend out to Souder Ave.

In this burying ground Lucas Sullivan and his wife Sarah, and many other pioneers who settled the area, were buried. About a dozen of these--those whose families gave permission—were eventually moved to Greenlawn Cemetery where they lie to this day. (Normally in old cemeteries this involves moving the tombstone and a bucket of dirt where the person was buried.) There are at least 130 graves in this cemetery. About 50 marked graves remain.

The cemetery was restored, and continues to be maintained, by a volunteer named Gary Royer. Columbus is certainly indebted to him for this restoration.

To find the box

Enter the Old Burying Ground. Explore the cemetery and visit Columbus’ pioneers. Then, look to the north end of the graveyard where you will see a cell tower just outside the cemetery walls. Walk to that cornerstone pillar. To the right of this corner, just behind the wall, there is a yellow metal property marker. The Old Burying Ground letterbox is in front of this yellow pole, hidden under rocks.

You do not need to leave the cemetery to get the box. A word of caution, though: some poison ivy is growing somewhat near, though not at, the letterbox. Don’t touch the greenery!

As you leave the cemetery you will likely cross, to the north, the Arthur Boke Memorial Bridge. This bridge memorializes the first African-American resident of Franklinton, a child raised by Sarah Sullivant. For this story, be sure to visit the "Sarah Sullivant’s Celebration of Life" letterbox. Today, Boke and the Sullivants are buried in Section P of Green Lawn Cemetery.