Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Late November 2021 Update

 Below is a short group of photos showing a few of the gravestones that were recently restored. 


The marble gravestone for Frederich W. Hirt who died on 14 August 1874 at age 25 years, 5 months, and 24 days was severely leaning. His stone was moved, the lower marble base was also removed and releveled upon a crusher run and stone dust aggregate foundation. The gravestone was reset upon the lower base.


The marble gravestone for children, Martha Maria Loeper, born 09 April 1869 and died 10 March 1872; and Friedrich Sarl, born 07 August 1873 and died 30 January 1875 was severely leaning. Her stone and base were both removed from the earth and reset upon a level crusher run and stone dust aggregate base. 
Civil War veteran Christopher Marcy had a newer government issued gravemarker delivered. But, somehow it broke. The lower piece become lost and the gravestone was never set into the ground. A slotted base was fabricated so that the gravestone segment could be set upright.


The modern granite Lang monument toppled over in 2020 and was reset level upon a crusher run and stone dust aggregate foundation. The monument shall be cleaned in Spring 2022.


The marble gravestone for Anna, daughter of Charles and Margaretha Strohmaier who died on 14 August 1877 at age 19 years, 6 months, and 8 days was severely broken due to iron pinning. After the lower base was releveled. The broken gravestone was cut flush so that it could be repinned with fiberglass rebar pins. Natural Hydaulic Lime (NHL) 3.5 was also used to attach the gravestone to its base.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

November 2021 Update

 Well, nothing has been posted on this blog all Spring, Summer, and Fall. But us volunteers have been working at the cemetery all along. The big project for this season was keeping the lawn mowed. One of our volunteers has mowed the lawn numerous times with a self-propelled walk-behind lawn mower. That takes eleven hours to complete. I timed the weed whacking process and that takes me a full eight full hours to complete and I move quick. Obviously, these tasks are not finished in one day. 

In 2022, to make work easier on us, we plan to get a riding lawn mower. This will make the work so much easier. Please contact us if you know of a good riding lawn mower that someone is looking to part with.

Two days ago, we finished the final lawn mowing and weed whacking sessions for the year. April and May will be here soon enough and the process will begin again. The flags for our veterans that were not looking decent have been replaced. Presently the cemetery grounds are looking fantastic. Over the next week we will be removing the spring and summer artificial flowers from the gravesites. Winter and Christmas flowers are very much welcome! 

With the lawn maintenance tasks and other family duties only a handful of gravestones were uprighted this year including a military gravestone for Christopher Marcy. His stone was broken and the stone was uprighted by placing his stone in a newly fabricated base to hold it upright.

Now that the grass will not be growing until Spring, it is too bad that the weather is too cold for gravestone repair. To be continued...

Thursday, December 10, 2020

December 2020 Update

How time flies! December already and we have not posted since June. Much work was accomplished this season and the work is still continuing as we write this.

Without viewing my notes upwards of sixty gravestones were restored. Most of them were smaller in size but we also corrected numerous gravestones that were medium sized. We also reset two obelisks that were leaning severely.

Due to Covid19 and other issues, work was not completed as hoped for finishing the restoration of the graves; but fortunately we have roughly thirty more stones to go. Completion of the project should happen mid Summer 2021.

One enormous plus that occurred this year was when a local neighbor, Mike, became the primary lawn mower of the cemetery grounds. He mowed the grounds at least twelve times this year. This was done with a self propelled walk behind lawn mower. Mike mentioned that it takes approximately eleven hours to mow the grounds. Mike was also instrumental in cutting the grass when it grew to over three feet in length. THANK YOU! Mike.

Presently, the perimeter of cemetery grounds are being cut back. When we began this project scrub brush was growing into the cemetery obscuring rows of gravestones. The brush is being cut back again to stop this before it becomes an issue. 

Unfortunately many photos were not taken of the gravestone restoration. But below are a couple of pictures of gravestones and lots that were highlighted in our June post. 

This is what the Griessman lot looks like today. The sunken gravestones and grave rails have been excavated and raised. Next year flowers will be planted in between the rails.



The gravestone of eleven year old Johann Meyer, son of J. and D. Meyer who died on 22 September 1868 is brightening up nicely. This is an example of the power of D2 Biological Solution. Johann's stone and base fell backwards and sunk into the earth. 




To see what these sites looked like previously, please view the previous, June 2020, post. Have a great holiday season, stay safe, and healthy!

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June 2020 Update

As of today, 02 June 2020, work is progressing nicely at the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. In March, 81 gravestones were marked for attention. Today there are 44 left to complete. Most of this work was accomplished over the last three weeks and will continue until complete!

Although the cemetery lawn presently looks fantastic, the lawn maintenance continues to be a challenge. So far, a lone volunteer from last year, Mike S. has mowed the lawn five times. This was done with his self-propelled walk-behind mower. Yes that number is correct; Five times! I helped mow the lawn twice; but, Mike S. is the dominent force behind this task. Please note: the cemetery is four acres in size with many gravestones. Mike S. estimates that it takes approximately 11 hours to accomplish this by himself.

Either before or after the lawn is mowed, the area around the gravestones need to be weed whacked to keep the cemetery groomed and looking great. Brian D., Mike W., and myself have all chipped-in on this adventure. Below are a couple of pics near the cemetery entrance.




A prominent lot, the Griesmann lot, had four small crescent shaped marble gravestones that had severely sunk into the earth. Only two inches of the gravestones were visible. Also the stones were scalped numerous times over the years with lawn mowers. Please note: this lot is a work in progress. Each grave present is known as a "Cradle Grave." This was a surprise. Rarely do you see this type of Victorian grave because either the "rails" get removed or sink so far into the earth that they are no longer visible. Next month's update will document the final product.




A small project that came out excellent was that of the gravestone for Johann Meyer, an eleven year-old child who passed away in 1868. His small gravestone tipped over and sunk into the earth. Using D2 Biological Solution, his gravestone should clean-up nicely.

 



On Memorial Day, a couple from the Sheehy-Palmer VFW Post stopped by the cemetery and removed all of the old and tattered flags for the veterans whom are buried in the cemetery. Each veteran received a new flag for his grave.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

April 2020 Update

Finally, the season for conservation is here! But, the Coronavirus has tipped everyday life upside down. At the moment work is not progressing as it should be regarding the restoration of the Evangelical Protestant Church Cemetery. Full-time work, work sequester, and other issues are prohibiting work for the moment.

Fortunately a solid game plan was made. Work will begin when it can. Previous to the outbreak of the Cornonavirus pandemic, the cemetery was walked and surveyed. Eighty-one gravestones were counted in the survey. That is the number of gravestones that need to be addressed this year. If this is accomplished, then the reclamation / restoration project will be complete.

Fortunately the vast majority of the gravestones that need attention are smaller stones and many of them are clustered near each other. This makes work easier since many stones can be worked on in one particular area without moving equipment and supplies all over the place. I am sure that there will be a pop-up stone here and there that needs attention.

This year we are lucky that there appears to be very little Winter damage to the stones. Also, no one has driven off the roadway and into the cemetery and damaged any gravestones this winter. Last Fall and Winter, two separate incidents occurred where knuckle-heads jumped the curb with their car and drove into the cemetery and damaged the same gravestone twice. The gravestone of Civil War veteran John Apply was hit twice and damaged both times. Last year his stone was repaired and it still looks great.

Maintenance of the lawn will most likely be an issue again. We already know that the Pastor/s who now own the former Evangelical church building and cemetery will not maintain the cemetery grounds. So cutting the lawn will most likely be done by volunteers again. Hopefully every is well rested! One such volunteer from last year, Mike, was given wild flower seeds to plant on the hilly areas of the cemetery. Hopefully these seeds take and beautiful wild flowers bloom. If this happens it should make those areas of the cemetery look great and also remove the need for maintaining the steep hills. The hope is that the flowers choke out the weeds. Time will tell.

During late March some gravestone restoration work was begun. Roughly ten small gravestones were raised out of the soil, cleaned, and leveled. Minor work needs to be done to finish these stones. Some pictures of this work before, during and after the work are below.





Friday, December 27, 2019

January 2020 Update

The New Year is just around the corner. Hopefully 2020 will be a better year for the Evangelical Protestant Cemetery. Obviously the restoration season is long over and fortunately the mowing season will not get into full swing until May.

Until now there has not been an update on the cemetery since September. The grounds were last mowed in mid-October. Just three weeks after the September mowing. And although the growing season was winding down at that point, the grass desperately needed mowing. The grass grows phenomenally fast.

As many readers know from earlier posts, the grass at the cemetery reached heights of over three feet in length. Most of the gravestones were completely obscured. It was dangerous to trek inside the tall grass. Low gravestones were unseen and a major tripping hazard. Low spots and ground hog holes also contributed to unseen dangers on the cemetery grounds.

The City of Albany was notified of the condition of the grounds in the cemetery. The City stated they would contact the property owner and demand that the grounds be cared for. Whatever attempt was made, failed. The City next stated that it would mow the grounds. The City reneged on its own statement. Most likely because it would not recoup its costs from the property owner. Typical.

Local news channels 10 and 13 broadcast stories about the conditions at the cemetery and after viewers saw the stories many volunteers came out and helped to return the cemetery back to the condition that it should always be in. The City stated that it will not let the cemetery become overgrown again. Time will tell if the City backpedals on its words, again.

During the warmer months of 2019 upwards of eighty plus gravestones were up-righted, leveled, cleaned, and repaired in various manners. When the grass grew to outrageous lengths it took almost one month to get the lawn back in shape. During this time, gravestone restoration practically ceased. So, the project was set back almost one month.

At the beginning of 2019 the plan was to finish the gravestone project. Unfortunately that did not happen. However 2020 should see the project finished. An estimation of forty grave markers are left in need of attention. Most of the tombstones are on the smaller side. It should be very feasible to complete the remaining gravestones this coming year.

For those who donated time, labor, and monetary funds to this effort, Thank You very much! This work would not be able to be completed without your help. We will need certain supplies to see this job to fruition in 2020. We are very close to the end. Supplies that will be needed in the Spring include top soil, crusher-run, stone dust, 80# bags of cement for fabricating new bases, and D2 Biological Solution. See you in the Spring!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

September Update

Recently, the Evangelical Protestant Church Cemetery was mowed and weed whacked, again, by three volunteers over a period of a few days. The grounds look great, again. Most of the work was done by one individual, Mike, with his push mower. The grass will continue to grow until early November. The cemetery will need to be mowed at least once more this year. Until a permanent solution is found for the upkeep of the cemetery, if you notice that the grass is in need of attention, empower yourself, volunteer, and help with the upkeep. When the grass is at a reasonable length, it is much easier to maintain. Please do not forget that the grass was over three feet tall in July when Travis took on the task of mowing the lawn. Permission is not needed to do the right thing. Be careful, have fun, and feel good afterward because you just did a great thing! Let's all try to keep the cemetery in great shape. Thank you