Pike Township Trustees, prairie managed by the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves.
This small, isolated rural cemetery 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.
Bigelow Cemetery Prairie State Nature Preserve has populations of both typical Darby Plains prairie grasses and forbs (prairie wildflowers). The rarest and showiest forb is Royal Catchfly, Silene regia (pictured above). In 1978, when the cemetery was dedicated as a state nature preserve, it was one of the only locations for this regal forb in Ohio. Since then, other populations in the Darby Plains have been discovered and the species is now conserved and used in Central Ohio prairie restorations and plantings.