Two crumbling tombstones have been expertly restored and returned to their rightful resting ground at the old Ferris Cemetery on Riverside Drive.

Two crumbling tombstones have been expertly restored and returned to their rightful resting ground at the old Ferris Cemetery on Riverside Drive.

Workers from a Columbus monument company last week placed in the ground the original grave markers of Lanah Cortright, who died May 25, 1828, and Abriam Smith, who died March 8, 1846.

The two corpses are buried somewhere in the abandoned cemetery, which is just south of Bright Road, across from the Dublin Arts Center.

Nearly a decade ago, local historian Jim Thompson began researching abandoned pioneer cemeteries as part of a history project being done in conjunction with the 115th anniversary of the Linworth United Methodist Church.

His first "rediscovered" cemetery was the Wilcox Cemetery, at Don Scott Field. After ThisWeek Worthington published a story about grave markers being found there and plans to erect a sign and fence, Jim Richards of the Dublin Historical Society contacted Thompson and told him about the Ferris Cemetery.

Richards and others in the area remembered playing among the tombstones as children, but the graveyard had been abandoned and most of the markers destroyed when Riverside Drive was widened in the early 1940s.

Many of the bodies probably are still buried beneath the road, with others buried in the tree line and farmland on the east side of Riverside Drive.

Volunteers erected a sign there in 2003, but until 2009, only pieces of tombstones had been found.

Then Mara and Eric Ward uncovered the Cortright and Smith tombstones not far from the cemetery and contacted Thompson. The markers were cracked and a few pieces were missing, but most of the ornate engraving was intact.

That is when Carmine Menduni of Columbus Art Memorial Co. offered to restore the markers to their original condition.

Menduni and employee Gary Royer have restored hundreds of historic monuments. Each year, they refurbish 10 to 15 markers from the old cemetery in downtown Dublin.

Their efforts are, as they describe, a work of love, done for free to help preserve the history they value.

"It bothers us a lot when we see people destroying history," Menduni said.

The Cortright and Smith grave markers were put together with stainless steel pins and sandstone and then completely refinished, re-carved, and re-lettered.

According to the Linworth Historical Society newsletter, Anthony and Lanah Cortright purchased land close to Joseph and Sarah Ferris' farm in 1819. The farm is adjacent to the cemetery.

Abriam Smith could be the son of Joseph Smith, who purchased land from John Sells in 1816. His 350 acres also were adjacent to the Ferris property.