Origins of the Toledo State Hospital Cemetery Reclamation Project
Founding member, Larry Wanucha, attended an Ohio Advocates for Mental Health (OAMH)
conference in Columbus in the fall of 2005. Larry Fricks, a consumer advocate from
Georgia, began the seminar on medicaid reimbursement of peer support activities by
talking about The Georgia State Hospital Cemetery Restoration Project. That project successfully
restored six neglected cemeteries on state hospital grounds where up to 30,000 of
our brothers and sisters were interred making it, perhaps, the largest graveyard
for persons with disability in the world. Wondering whether Toledo had any state
hospital cemeteries, Mr. Wanucha, together with a small group of consumers and volunteers
began asking questions of local residents, employees of area agencies, and staff
of University of Toledo (UT) Heatlh Science campus. Two cemeteries were identified
on former state hospital grounds now owned by UT. Soon tours of the cemeteries were
being organized, and people committed to correcting the injustice of years of neglect
in the state hospital cemeteries were gathering.
The Toledo State Hospital Cemetery Restoration Project Project (TSHCRP) now operates
under the NAMI of Greater Toledo umbrella, meeting every 2nd Thursday of the month
at Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital, the current name for Toledo State Hospital.
To advocate for Toledo State Hospital cemeteries, assuring that all interred there
are treated with honor, dignity & respect.
To preserve the cemeteries and develop them into a place of remembrance and reflection
for people who have experienced mental illness, disability, or addiction and their
Locate and preserve grave makers
Preserve and enhance the landscaping in Toledo State Hospital Cemeteries
Improve the accessibility and appeal of cemeteries
Create and maintain memorials and other informational enhancements
To explore and preserve the history of Toledo State Hospital and those who received
treatment, lived and worked there
To educate the community about Toledo State Hospital and those interred in its cemeteries
To educate the community and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, disability
and addiction issues.
The committee meets on the second Thursday of every month. Bylaws on the committee
structure and how to join can be found in the Reclamation Project Bylaws.
For those seeking information about relatives once hospitalized at Toledo State Hospital,
contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will confirm your relative is named in the
Burial Log and pass on your details to Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital, which
is the current name of the state-operated hospital in Toledo who can provide you
with limited information about their stay at the hospital. You must be able to show
your relationship to the person before information can be released.
TSHCRP is a grass roots organization that welcomes donations to support of our efforts
to restore the State Hospital cemeteries. Tax deductible donations can be made to
NAMI of Greater Toledo. For more details see our Donating page.