CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WJW) — A historic gravestone was retrieved along the banks of the Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Falls on Monday.
The over 200-pound grave marker was spotted on April 18 by two fishermen who were walking near the boat launch on Front Street. They say the “odd-shaped stone” caught their eye and after clearing off the moss, they saw words engraved on it.
Etched on the 24”x15”x6” stone is the name Thadius Peck (1711-1781).
This would place Peck in the area pre-Connecticut Western Reserve era, a settlement that began around 1796, according Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society. The City of Cuyahoga Falls was founded later in 1812.
After the discovery, the city contacted the Army Corps of Engineers, who confirmed there were no permissions necessary to remove the stone. Cuyahoga Falls Firefighters then safely extracted the gravestone from the riverbank.
“As a lifelong resident of the City of Cuyahoga Falls, I have always been intrigued with the founding of our city and how it came to be,” stated Mayor Don Walters. “I am hopeful that this discovery can shed additional light on who once occupied the area that is now our city and when.”
It’s unknown how the gravestone came to be embedded on the riverbank of the Cuyahoga River. So, the historical society is enlisting the help of cemetery preservationist Krista Horrocks from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office to research the history of Thadius Peck, his gravestone, and how the stone got there.
“We know that the Peck surname is an early surname associated with the Western Reserve in the Cuyahoga Falls area with Sherman Peck as the city’s first Marshall and Julius S. Peck, who owned a large parcel of land downriver near the Gorge,” said Shawn Andrews, Board Member of the Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society. “The Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society is excited to continue researching the provenance of Thadius Peck’s stone.”
The stone will be housed at the Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society at 2083 Cook Street.
Anyone interested in seeing the gravestone can visit the Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society Open House on Sunday, June 12, from 2-4 p.m.