James Cemetery was established by Major John James in 1828 on James Street (now East Broadway) as a family cemetery. The location was originally a Native American burial site and was built around a burial mound approximately seventy feet in diameter and nearly six feet tall. The mound is the only one within Jackson's city limits, but it was originally part of a group of three mounds that formed a triangular pattern. One was a few hundred feet to the northeast and the other, to the northwest. The mounds were built by a Native American people known as the Hopewell who were prominent between 100-400 C.E. The site is no longer an open cemetery and is designated as a local and state historic site.
Backstory and Context
In 1807, Major John James settled in what would become Jackson in 1817. At that time, Jackson was a settlement established around the natural salt licks in the area. The salt licks have attracted animals and people to the region for thousands of years dating back to the last ice age. The salt from the licks was obtained using large boiling operations to boil the brine water away, leaving only the salt behind. The boilers required massive amounts of fuel, and the operation resulted in a great deal of deforestation. The extent of the damage was large enough that the state of Ohio passed legislation that made the licks public property in order to regulate the consumption of natural resources. For a time, Major John James was the proprietor of the salt licks, meaning that he oversaw the leasing of extraction rights to the salt boilers. Later, James became an Ohio legislator and the first treasurer of Jackson County.
Big Bottom Massacre. Ohio History Central. . . http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Big_Bottom_Massacre.
Our Town: Jackson. United States of America. WOUB Public Media, 2017. DVD.