Summit County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society
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New Portage Cemetery aka Pioneer Cemetery
(Norton Township)
Summit Street
Barberton, Ohio 44203 USA
Alternate Names:  High Street Cemetery, Pioneer Cemetery, Palmer Cemetery, Clark Cemetery
Established:  circa 1830s
Current Status:  Destroyed; Reconstructed near the original site
Original Township:  Norton Township
Directions:  Located on Summit Street in Barberton, west of the junction with Wooster Road North; sits behind school parking lot on a small hill
Contact:  City of Barberton, Service Director
                 576 West Park Ave.
                 Barberton, Ohio 44203
History:  Land for a one acre burial ground was donated by Ambrose Palmer to the inhabitants of New Portage in 1836 before he left for Missouri.  Palmer had been the presiding elder of the Morman congregation in New Portage.  The cemetery served the community well for a number of years.
In 1906, plans were drawn up to build the High Street School, placing it next to the cemetery.  By 1923, J.P. McCarty, acting for the Buckley Post GAR, reported that the cemetery had become a playground for the children of the school.  Shortly thereafter, some of the headstones were removed to Lakewood Cemetery while others were moved to the perimeter of the area.  In 1998, one older resident recalled that headstones were routinely used as bases when the children played baseball on the site of the old cemetery.
In 1998, the long neglected cemetery was brought to the attention of the community when Abraham Benavides, a doctoral student at Kent State University, embarked on what he had envisioned as a "modest research project" on the history of his church in this area.  Soon, he found himself involved in the much larger task of locating and restoring headstones from this lost cemetery. With the assistance of residents, school officials, and the City of Barberton, the headstones that were unearthed were moved and reset in a small corner of the property and an historic marker dedicated.  Today, this reconstruction sits behind the school and is surrounded by a decorative fence.
Chapter Publications:  This information can be found in the Summit County OGS publication, "Lest We Forget, 2007.
The Summit County Chapter, OGS, is always looking for new information on our county's lost or forgotten cemeteries. If you have questions or information on this cemetery please contact the Cemetery Chairperson.
New Portage Cemetery