Century-old stone wall in Sylvania relocated due to construction project


TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – If you drive into Sylvania on Monroe Street or Harroun Road, you may have noticed the beautiful old stone wall in front of the Toledo Memorial Park. Part is moved due to a construction project. But there are many steps taken to ensure that every part is put back in place.

The limestone wall has been part of the landscape along Monroe Street for the past century.

“We see the stone wall as the gateway to Sylvania,” said Jeff Clegg, president and CEO of Toledo Memorial Park.

It was built using stone from a local stream, most of it carried by a cemetery worker and his team of horses.

“Every day he would pick up a cart full of stones and put them down for the masons to cut the stones and fix the wall,” Clegg said. “He lived about three miles from here in Michigan. The horse team also worked on things like building roads here in the park.

Clegg says it was a painstaking process and it took about two years to complete the project.

The wall on the west side of the park gates is not affected. Tearing down the wall on the east side of the cemetery is required due to a widening project on Monroe Street. Small sections of it have already been removed for public utility works.

“The day we started to tear down the wall, the phones started ringing,” says Clegg. “People were afraid that we were really going to lose the wall. We have assured everyone that we are doing everything we can to keep as many of the original stones as possible. “

Clegg said they were going to great lengths to get everything back in place. Once the stones are removed, they are placed on pallets, wrapped in plastic and stored in a building on the property.

“We hired a contractor specializing in historic masonry and restoration of stone buildings,” he said.

Not everything can be saved, but the point is to make it difficult to tell the difference between the old and the new.

“Some of the stone breaks when crews dismantle the wall, so we’re going to find limestone to match the original stone here,” says Clegg. “Once everything is back in place, we hope that no one will really know that we have to bring in stone. The dismantling process is the most important part of saving as many stones as possible. “

Even the roses along the wall are meticulously groomed until they can come back.

“They were brought in from England and we’ve been dealing with them for about 100 years. We took them to a special area where they can be treated until it was all over.

Clegg is proud to help preserve this piece of history for the next 100 years.

“Losing the wall is not an option for us. It will be back, it might only be in a few years,” he said. “This project will give my predecessors something to talk about in 100 years. It shows. how far we are prepared to go to maintain the beauty of the park.

Clegg estimates that the east side of the wall will need to be set back about 30 feet, but nothing is set in stone yet. The rebuilding process cannot begin until all construction work is completed, which can take up to two years.

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