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Smith Cemetery Prairie
State Nature Preserve

Prairie Name

Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve


Location

In Madison County, go 2 miles west of Plain City on SR 161; proceed 1 mile south on Kramer Road, (Union County Road 42). This road becomes Converse Chapel Road (Madison County Road 41). Turn west (right) on Boyd Road, then 0.25 mile to the prairie cemetery located on the north.

Owner

Darby Township Trustees, prairie managed by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.


Prairie History

This rural cemetery was created in 1834. In December 1982, it became a state nature preserve, to conserve the site’s rare community of Darby Plains prairie plants. The site was probably never plowed or grazed.


contains the graves of local residents in the 19th century. Burials here occurred before the local tallgrass prairie was plowed, and has remained unplowed since.

On September 13, 1978, Bigelow Cemetery was dedicated as a state nature preserve, preserving the rare prairie plants growing between the gravestones (in the manner of the 19th century, before lawn mowing and a modern cultural imperative for universal turf). Both headstones and prairie species are preserved at the site.


The site is a superb prairie representative of the Darby Plains Ohio Prairie Region. (Prairie Regions of Ohio)

Size

1 acre

Prairie Description

Smith Cemetery State Nature Preserve, similar to the nearby Bigelow Cemetery Prairie State Nature Preserve,  has populations of both typical Darby Plains prairie grasses and forbs (prairie wildflowers). The showiest forb is Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea (pictured above).


Visitation Information


http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/smithcemetery



This rural cemetery on the Darby Plains has both typical and rare prairie species of this large Central Ohio prairie region.