Cleaning and Repairing Gravestones

Last night I went to a meeting of the Penobscot County Genealogical Society. The topic was "Cleaning Up Our Ancestors" by Bill and Jane Macomber of the Maine Old Cemetery Association. Bill shared lots of do's and don'ts about cleaning old gravestones. There were lots of don'ts, as there should be. Gravestones are ANTIQUES, and how many antiques would you squirt with 409??? Never use harsh chemicals, make sure the stone is wet, always begin on the back in an inconspicuous place, and start with water and elbow grease first.

As I was driving home the thought went through my mind, why the heck would I go and wash gravestones when I can't seem to find the time to keep my house vacuumed? But I guess it makes sense to clean a gravestone if something is obliterating the words or dates. So here is a link to tips on cleaning old gravestones, should you be so moved over Memorial Day weekend. :-)

Old gravestones are beautiful in their own right, and there is a lot of symbolism in them. For instance, an anchor or ship can symbolize hope or that the person was in a seafaring profession. A rooster would be an indication the the person will awake to resurrection. For more information, there is a great table at the following site...but read skeptically.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

WOW! Thanks for the gravestone tutorial.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden