Graveyard in a movie multiplex parking lot.

Graveyard at a Movie Theater

Field review by the editors.

Middleburg Heights, Ohio

In 1809 Jared Hickcox became the first settler in what would later become Middleburg Heights. A year later he became its first dead settler, and was buried in what would later become Hepburn Cemetery.

The Hepburn family was protective of their final resting places, and one of them later stipulated in his will that the cemetery remain forever untouched. Remarkably, this request was obeyed over a century later, in the late 1990s, when the land was sold to a developer. A movie multiplex was built, but the cemetery was preserved, now surrounded by asphalt instead of trees.

Local historian Ron McEntee thought that the parking lot cemetery would make a good focal point for area history. Along with a Middleburg preservation group, he created 12 "Pioneer Trail" plaques for the graveyard with photos and information about its graves and the surrounding area. When people go to the movies, they can open the cemetery gate and learn about Middleburg Heights history.

Graveyard at a Movie Theater

Address:
18348 Bagley Rd, Middleburg Heights, OH
Directions:
From I-71, take Bagley Road exit in Middleburg Heights. Turn west, go past Engle Road. Regal Middleburg Town Square 16 movie plaza is on the right, theater is all the way in the back. Cemetery is across from theater in back of parking lot.
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August 14, 2020

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