Sunday, July 31, 2016

June - July Update

We are late with an update on the cemetery restoration project. Much has been accomplished at the cemetery; but first a major "Thank You!" goes out to Fred. He gave an incredible $500 donation to the Friends group for the purchase of materials to aid in restoring grave sites. Three much needed items such as D2, a chemical used to clean gravestones, stone dust for leveling stone bases, and Lithomex - a lime based mortar used for repairing and re-pointing gravestones were purchased with these funds. Other miscellaneous items such as lifting straps and stainless steel bar were purchased also.

It is estimated that within 48 hours the area we have dubbed "Civil War grove" will be complete. Every stone in that section will have been attended to by either cleaning, repairing, rebuilding, leveling, or complete up righting. Other gravestones throughout the cemetery, both large and small have also been taken of. A total of 30+ stones have been worked on so far. It was amazing that while working on specific gravestones other stones were found that tipped over and became covered with dirt over the years. These new found stones were cleaned and up righted.

An unfortunate casualty was the stone of Christian Scherer, a Civil War veteran. His stone was toppled, buried, and also broken into three pieces. His stone was in this condition for many unknown years. The stone laying flat and buried has caused the stone to go into a process of "sugaring." This is where the stone becomes weak, begins to deteriorate and crumble. Christian's stone was found by accident while working on another stone. His stone was in desperate condition but the stone is a work in progress and is being "put back together." A few photos of his gravestone are below.

Epoxying center piece to lower stone

Center piece stone mortared with Lithomex

Three stone pieces epoxied and mortared together

Other cemetery work includes repeated weed whackings and mowing along the Route 85 fence line and the hilly area in the center of the cemetery are being maintained. Hopefully the main growing season for these weedy areas will be over within the next two to three weeks.

The area behind stones cleared of brush
The next area to be tackled will be the section to the right of the old receiving vault building. About a dozen stones in that area need attention and part of that section will also be reclaimed from encroaching weeds and brush.

More photos and a new video will be provided in the next update.