Sunday, June 23, 2013

Detour into the Cemetery

My favorite project this week didn't involve paint brushes,
--instead, it involved scrub brushes.
Yes, I admit to having a quirky passion for cemeteries.
I'm a cemetery walker,
and it's a shame to see time take it's toll on the old gravestones.
So when the opportunity came to learn about restoring these stones,
I jumped at the chance.

In sweltering 90 degree heat a group of enthusiasts gathered at a local cemetery
to learn about tombstone cleaning and restoration.
Expert, Mark Moran of Gravestone Guardians, led the day-long seminar.

It was dirty.
It was sweaty.
It was fun.

 Each of us was assigned a tombstone and we dug in -- pardon the pun. 

 Our stone was broken, but before it could be put back together,
it had to be cleaned, and the base needed unearthed and re-set on level ground. 

We dug.

We cleaned.
We reset the base.

We repaired.
We filled.
Every site was unique, requiring care and thought. 
The ladies working next to me determined their stone
 was buried beneath 125 years of sediment and grass.

They began removing sod and soon the stone appeared.
As anticipated, it belonged to wife of the man whose stone we worked on.  

She is Hulda Greene, wife of Nathan.
Nathan was a veteran of the WAR OF 1812,
and his family donated the land for this cemetery.  

Another stone proved to be a tablet nearly 6' tall.  
It took hours to excavate and four men to pull it from the ground.


Work continued all afternoon.

At the end of the day, nearly two dozen gravestones
 were repaired, cleaned, leveled and reset.

Everyone was exhausted, but content
 knowing that we had done something significant -
we helped preserve a precious part of local history.



  1. This is such a wonderful thing to do. I must admit that I like cemeteries too, there is so much history there. My Grandma took me as a child to visit my grandfather's grave and we would clean his headstone. Now both my Grandmother and my dad are there and my children grew up visiting and caring for the family plot.

    1. With four generations of your family in one place, you certainly have a sense of community, Traci. People today, often move about and find themselves far from their roots. And what a special memory of sharing time with your Grandmother. I'm so glad you shared!


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