The least well-known of the old city cemeteries on Columbus's west side is the one on the grounds of the Columbus Developmental Center on Sullivant Avenue. I was told about this one a long time ago and had trouble finding it, mainly because hardly any of the stones are above ground. This cemetery is almost entirely ground-level plaques.


This cemetery must have been an intermediate, used between the one at Harper and McKinley and the TICO cemetery. The earliest burials here happened in 1906; a lot of the stones are dated from the nineteen-teens. Some are just numbers. There are a lot of "Unknown" stones here as well. Patients at the developmental center or the state hospital who died without family to pay for their burial got the simple, flat stones, but they aren't the only ones here; certain area residents who played a role at the institution were allowed a plot when they died, and their stones are more like the ones you'd see at an ordinary cemetery.


Below you see a photo of the cemetery, taken by Katydid, which has a weird almond-shaped orb in it.


As I said, only a few of the tombstones in this field stick up above the ground at all. The graveyard itself is surrounded by a wooden fence, which we hopped. When we were there, two state cops who guard the grounds spotted my car and ran the plates and ended up giving us warnings. Written warnings, and that includes the girl I was with, who at the time was just a really pretty brunette I was trying to date. In the fullness of time she and I would spend a year as a couple, but just then she was playing aloof, and I was spending a lot of money buying her flowers and high-heeled boots from DSW. Objectively, "Katydid" was so hot I doubted it was possible for her to get a written citation from any male cop--but these two blew my mind by doing just that, writing her up along with me. No one was cuffed but it had occurred to me that maybe they just wanted to invoke their right to search her for concealed weapons or just put some handcuffs on her--but no, it was very minor and the officers couldn't have been more considerate. After that, though, they kindly showed us around the rest of the grounds and told us about the current workings of the Developmental Center, paying special attention to anything Katydid said or asked or wanted to see. I thank them and wish them nothing but the best.


TICO Cemetery

Harper-McKinley Cemetery




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