Cottle came to the area in 1835, staked his claim, in return
to Virginia to persuade a group of friends to join him in settling
here. The group arrived in 1836 and Charles McClure and his son
John made their home on this piece of land. And the burying ground
was begun almost immediately, when the infant daughter of Cottle
and granddaughter daughter of Charles McClure died in the fall
of 1836. This little community was called the Virginia Settlement,
officials in typical bureaucratic fashion decided that wasn't a
suitable name and Ridgefield was chosen as a substitute. However,
the cemetery continued to be known as the Virginia Settlement cemetery
for many years before adopting the name of the nearby village.Despite
its small size the cemetery can be confusing. Gravestones on the
west side face west while the remainder generally facing east.
Some of the lots are set at an angle as shown in the accompanying
map. “Quite a few lots disappeared when part
of the cemetery was paved over to provide a parking lot. Lots
2 through 9 in block two were reserved for potter's field burials.
Visitors should note that the listing for the cemetery begins
at what certainly appears to be the back the cemetery. The west
half of row A along the western border is actually in Dorr Township
, but this is considered and Nunda Township cemetery.
the notable features here is the only full figure life size human statue gravestone
in the county. It presides regally from the top of tall monument. Although it
is not clearly identified, it marks the Baldwin family lot and presumably is
a depiction of W. A. Baldwin. Although there are quite a few early burial dates
on the family monument, there appear to be merely memorials. There
is no trace of the family in the county prior to 1870.
of records for the cemetery is source of deep rough frustration for many researchers.
That caretaker of the time boasted his memory was so accurate that he did not
need written records and with his death all information was lost. Most of the
small amount of additional information below comes from efforts to research known
burials by Nunda township officials when they took over management cemetery