WOODVILLE, Ohio — When Aaron Day died in Sandusky County and was buried in Woodville Township Cemetery, the year was 1842. The early settlers thought that was the perfect place to be laid to your eternal rest. High on a hill, it was peacefuland serene.
But then,decades later, the tranquility ended.
That's because this once sedate field of final sleep is surrounded by a lime plant.
Not one, but two.
One on the north, one to the south and all of the attendant sounds and noises that lime plants make. The din of conveyors, and motors, the trucks, the trains and the general clatter of stones headed for the kiln, float over the tombstones everyday, 24 hours a day.
"It wasn't originally between two quarries, it was originally a township cemetery," Mike O' Connor, president of the Woodville Historical Society said. "That is why they located it here, because they found a place that has a good overlook, in fact the first part was call Golden Hill."
It was golden in a way, for little did the townspeople know that under the hill was not gold, but the bedrock of some of the richest limestone deposits in the Midwest.
"It's very high quality and its my understanding its very high in magnesium content," O'Connor said.
It didn't take long for these early lime plants to expand their quarries to extract the limestone while inching closer and closer to the graves. By 1900, the two lime plants were becoming prosperous, employing lots of men and Woodville was becoming the "lime center of the world."
Martin Marietta now operates both plants and the quarries have expended to that graveyard is not a virtual island surrounded by quarries
This village of the dead also get shaken by the regular rumble of quarry blasting. Several times a week, the howl of the sirens drift over the graves as the explosives are readied to gouge another chunk of stone from the bedrock.
The regular blasts aren't as loud or jarring as they used to be; a favor to the grateful dead.
O'Connor said there aren't many people buried here any more, only a few in the past couple of decades. Most newly departed rest in a new cemetery.
"That's out on the other end of town, no quarries," Oconnor said laughing.