Located within the new Mentor Lagoons Marina and Park, in what is known as the White Triangle, this very small cemetery has been “discovered” several times in the past century. Most recently, after it was settled that it was on park property, the city of Mentor put a wrought iron fence around it. The fence was part of the Mentor Municipal Cemetery which was replaced recently.
The Lagoons area has had a long history full of conflicts. The area was first sold by the Connecticut Land Company. In 1840, 1857, and 1874 it is shown as belonging to Hugh and/or H.M. Brooks. For a discussion of the property history over the past century, see the article in Section B of The Plain Dealer Friday November 1, 1996. For a photo of its current state, see Section B, The Plain Dealer Friday December 4, 1998.
Henry Marshall Brooks, son of Thomas and Rebecca appears to be brother of Hugh who was born in 1812 in New York. Both settled in the Headlands area when it was still wilderness. The following obituary has the majority of what we know about this immediate family. It was printed Thursday April 19, 1883 on page 3 in The Painesville Telegraph and the next day in The Independent, Willougbhy. (There are a few discrepancies, and the middle initial of N should be M..)
Died at Mentor Headlands, April 11th, 1883, Mr. Henry N. Brooks, of rheumatism of the heart, aged 74 years.
Mr. Brooks’ death was not wholly unexpected, as he had been in feeble health for some time past, yet not seriously ill until about two weeks prior to his death. He was born in the State of New York, in the year 1809, was married to Mary G. Barrett, of Berkshire, Mass., in the year 1831. She died in 1840, leaving three daughters, Mrs. Chas. Wilcox, Painesville; Mrs. Dan. Ingraham and Mrs. Jno. Tear, of North Mentor. At his second marriage he married Mary Slitor, or Try, O., who now survives him. The children of this marriage were four sons and three daughters, all of whom survive him. The sons, Charles H., Wesley B., A Eugene, and Fred. H., all of whom reside on the Headlands near the paternal home. Of the daughters Mrs. L.A. Austin recently removed to Richmond, Ill., mrs. John Knox of Petersboro, Canada, and Miss Edith, now absent on a visit to her sister, at the last named place. The last two named were not present at the funeral.
Mr. Brooks was one of the earliest settlers on Mentor Headlands, coming there when it was a wilderness, clearing up his large farm on which he has since resided, rearing his large family of ten children. He was one of the founders of the M.E. Church, in the place, uniting with the same in the year 1849, and has ever been a consistent, faithful and useful member, and during his last illness, amidst his sufferings, assured the loved ones around his beside, that “all was well with him,” saying, “What is my suffering compared with what my Savior suffered on the cross.” The funeral was held at the family residence, on Saturday, 14th last, Rev. Ely officiating. The remains were placed in the vault at Mentor.
Although the obituary states that all ten children survive him, there is an old genealogy at Morley Library which shows a fourth child of Mary Barrett, Emma, who died at age 3 years old was buried at Headlands.
The monument at Mentor Municipal Cemetery reads in part, “H. M. Brooks/ died/ April 11, 1883/ aged 74 years/ Mary his wife/ died March 10, 1841/ aged 29 years/ Mary his wife/ born Jan. 5, 1820/ died Mar. 17, 1890/ Brooks” Although there is a small headstone for the second wife, Mary, there is none for the first Mary, substantiating the existence of her grave actually still being at the Lagoons.
The stone of the first wife Mary Barrett has the name broken off the top. The rest is quite legible and standing. There are two other bases, and three marble remnants of stones which seem to fit in one of the bases.
There is mention of the death of a child of Mary Barrett Brooks, Emma, who age 3 years buried at the Headland Cemetery. It is a hypothesis that Emma’s stone belonged in one of the smaller bases near Mary.
In addition, there was a stone found in Concord which is that of a girl who died January 5, 1847 at age 2 years 21 days. This child is not mentioned in the genealogy, nor in the obituary, but there is little doubt that she was the daughter of Henry and Mary Slitor Brooks. To date this stone has not been fitted for the bases that remain, but this author is quite confident that it will fit.
|Brooks, Mary||1||1||1||Daughter of/ H. M. & Mary/ Brooks/ died/ Jan. 5, 1847/ Aged 2 years/ & 21 ds./ E'ee she could blight or sorrow fade/ Jesus with loving care/ The opening bud to heaven conveyed/ To bloom forever there.||broken in three pieces. Top with name missing. Stone sugaring, found in Metropark in Concord. Base now empty, with remnants of other stones in it.|
|Brooks, Mary||1||1||2||In Memory of /Mary G./who was born in/ in Berkshire Mass./ and died/ March 10th 1841/ aged 29 years/ and 10 days.||top lines broken off, from previous reading.|
|*,||1||1||3||small base next to stone of Mary the elder|
|Brooks, Emma L.||1||1||4||Daughter of/ H. M. & Emma L./ Daughter of H.M. & Mary/ Brooks/||broken in pieces. Reading from some years ago.|