Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January 2019 Update

Yes, this blog is still alive and the cemetery restoration continues! It has been a while since the last post. Many items of interest have occurred since the August article.

  • Numerous gravestones were rehabbed during the 2018 season. Including three obelisks that were in danger of toppling over. We can think of three more that need attention this Spring.
  • Approximately ninety more stones, most of them smaller in size, are still in need of attention at the cemetery. When Spring and warmer weather arrive work will begin at a fast pace. The plan is to complete the gravestone restoration in 2019. 
  • More topsoil, stone dust, D2 (the go-to cleaning product), and bagged cement for fabricating new bases for certain gravestones will need to be purchased.
  • Very soon a plan will be devised to reclaim the perimeter of the cemetery, again. This needs to be done, again, before the encroaching growth gets outrageous. Hopefully this work will begin in the Winter as soon as some of the snow melts. The plan is to have the perimeter cleaned up before the stone work begins.
  • It appears that the littering and dumping has slowed down at the cemetery but violators are still sneaking in. Isn't it easier to just to put your garbage in front of your house?
  • Recently, someone,perhaps a fool speeder, lost control of his/her car while driving around the bend. The car hopped the curb and drove into the cemetery. A stone of a Civil War veteran that was in the process of being restored was knocked over. Fortunately the stone was not completely restored otherwise a second repair would be even more difficult. Luckily the stone did not break further.
  • Last year an attempt to replace the roof on the old cemetery vault building was moving forward but abruptly stopped. The roof is completely missing on one side due to tree branches rubbing the asphalt shingles over the years. The roof desperately needs to be replaced soon. The roof may even collapse this Winter. The reason for the halting of the roof replacement is next.
  • In July, a congregation bought the former Evangelical Protestant Church building in the South End for its services. A requirement for the sale of the church building stated that the cemetery had to be included in the transaction. When the grass was getting "knee-high" a concerned individual whom has numerous ancestors buried in the cemetery contacted the new property owner and asked what are the future plans for upkeep of the cemetery? The response was "absolutely none... I didn't want the cemetery but I had to take it to get the church... I have no plans for doing anything with it"
  • To be continued...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

August 2018 Update

What a wet and rainy season this Summer has been. We uprighted two and a half stones earlier today. We should have had three completed but a monsoon blew in and half drowned us this morning. Unlike the wicked witch of the west, we won't melt.

A thank you goes out to M-A C for her donation to this project. Thank you again!

Since the restoration season has begun over 35 gravestones have been uprighted and secured. Two of which were severely leaning obelisks and one obelisk that had already toppled over. Our goal is to correct the dangerous stones before they fall or possibly injure someone. Numerous Civil War veterans whose tablet style stones were broken were cleaned and uprighted by casting new cement bases for the stones of these former soldiers. One of which was Colonel Frederick Andes. He is once again standing at attention.

Does anyone remember his obelisk that had tipped over? The remaining pieces were disassembled, a new level stone dust base installed, and then the obelisk reassembled. The cross for the top of this obelisk will be replaced on top of the cap after it is re-pinned and re-mortared for safety.



The same was done with this severely leaning obelisk which is a little over 7 feet tall.

Before

After


New developments have surfaced where a new owner has purchased the properties of the former Evangelical Protestant Church, including the cemetery. We will see how this progresses. The lawn is very high at this point and desperately needs mowing. The former lawn contractor was told to cease mowing. We will keep you posted on this.

My plans to attempt a new roof for the vault building are now on hold because of the sale of the properties. Perhaps something can be worked out. Below are pictures of the outside of the right side of the roof and another from inside the building. If left like this it will not be long before the roof completely collapses. Left as is, I predict three years maybe less before it is gone.

Exterior View


Interior View

Friday, June 22, 2018

June 2018 Update

Although rehab work started later than expected at the cemetery. It is now going full steam. Materials were purchased for use. Numerous stones have been leveled and up-righted. Also, a large leaning tree that was leaning was cut down and removed. Photos of the work are below. The tree was completely removed. The photo show partial removal.





The photo below is the next obelisk that will be worked on this weekend. The monument is simply leaning too much now and is now a safety concern. Soon it will be dismantled, its base leveled, and then re-assembled. Photos to follow upon its completion.




Monday, February 19, 2018

February 2018 Update

Plans for the 2018 cemetery rehab season at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery are made and work is underway. One would never know this though. What is being done presently? For years, much garbage and discarded plastic flowers were thrown into a corner of the old vault building. This garbage is being removed little by little. The rear shed behind the vault building is already emptied of its former junk. During the late Spring, it is hoped that someone might donate some expertise, time, and sweat to help replace the roofs on these buildings. If the roofs are left as is the buildings will collapse. Let's get this corrected before more damage is done.

Once the weather warms a little more; the hilly center area will have the remaining roots and vines removed, which should keep the extreme sumac growth down. Also the outer perimeter will be cleared of what has crept inward again.

Hopefully by early April stone work will be started. Since I am still recuperating from shoulder surgery smaller gravestones will be tackled first. The bases will be lifted and re-leveled. Any actual repairs to the marble stones and or mortar work on these stones will be taken care of by mid-May. When this season ends the section in between the driveway and the Route 85 fence will be completed along with the the furthest section in back heading towards the middle of the grounds. The far opposite side of the cemetery is complete now. All damaged and unlevel gravestones were corrected in 2016 and 2017.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

January 2018 Update

The new year is here! Although, recent posting has not occurred here lately. Off site plans are being put together for another productive rehab season in 2018. Work ended in early November 2017 with the completion of the Bender plot. Cold weather, ice, and snow plus an operation has ended work at the cemetery for a few months for us. But we will be back!

The Bender plot, mentioned above, rests above the Civil War grove on a hill was finally finished. It was a work in progress throughout the Spring and Summer; and now it is complete. A video was made to show the progress of this project. A link to the video is below. See you in the Spring!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Update

The Fall is upon us and gravestone restoration season is beginning to wind down. A lot has been accomplished so far. Sorry that there are no photos attached to this post. We have about six weeks left of work. The goal is to finish rehabbing all of the fallen gravestones on the Route 85 side of the cemetery. I think we can do it.

A five minute video was created in early September showing how we raised a small obelisk that had fallen. A link to the video can be found here.

Thank yous are in order for a couple of individuals who have recently donated to this project. Richard O. gave a sizable amount- thank you! And JNP also contributed to the cause- thank you!!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

July Update

During the month of July much was accomplished at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. The goal for this season is to complete the rehab of the last two remaining plots on the far left side of the cemetery and to also upright and level all of the gravestones on the far right section of the cemetery. This will leave the center portion of the cemetery to be addressed next year.

Work is long underway on the right side where we are working from the front to the back. Many stones have been rehabbed also. Two Facebook live videos of three gravestones that needed work were created. Video one can be found here and video two is found here. In order to view the videos you might need to have a Facebook account and be logged in.

Last Sunday a project was undertaken by Brian, one of my partners-in-crime, who has been helping with the cemetery restoration. He put together a small team of helpers who tackled the overgrown hilly area in the center of the cemetery. They did not just tackle the area. They sacked it! The area was overgrown with miscellaneous vines, scrub-brush, lilies, and sumac trees.

The area looks barren presently; but give it time. By the end of the Summer if no additional work is done the area will be quickly covered in scrub-brush again. I am looking for suggestions as to what might be able to be planted there which would regrow each year and not get out of control such as the growth which was recently removed. Perhaps some kind of wild flowers?

Below is a series of photos of the work that Brian and crew completed. On Saturday I went to the cemetery and did some prep work and knock down much of what was growing. However it was the team who came in the next day and removed and cleaned up the area who need kudos for their work! Thank you!!!

Before

Many weeds, etc. knocked down

Towards the end of the clean-up