April 2019 Cleanup Day


Jeff, Debbie, Kay, Steven, George, Mike, and Jeanette met on April 27th for our monthly cleaning day. We mowed, weeded, replaced flowers, and removed all of the brambles growing over the Hagedorn Rosebush. We also repainted a small portion of the fence while the weather was nice.

Lowell Herzog, a headstone conservationist, met with us  to reset Elsie Dittrich’s headstone. The entire process took about an hour and it was great for all of us to have a hand in helping. Lowell will be repairing a few more of our headstones that have been damaged over time. He’s a great guy to work with and I feel confident that our cemetery is in good hands. Be sure to check out his website to see more of his work. http://www.texasgravestoneconservation.com/



Here are some pictures of how we reset Elsie Dittrich’s headstone.



3 thoughts on “April 2019 Cleanup Day

  1. We have a historical cemetery here and some of the gravestones have been suffering from the recent wet weather. I don’t know who is responsible for repairing or maintaining them but one, for example, was damaged when a big tree branch fell on it. I noticed that some of them have a lean on them like in your photos.

    The reason i have interest in the cemetery is that my grandparents are buried there.

    1. Hi Stephen, It’s awesome that you are concerned with the welfare of the headstones. As far as who is responsible, it depends on who is managing the cemetery. In our case, we have an association that manages and is responsible for upkeep. But if the cemetery you’re referring to is on the larger side or isn’t as closely managed as ours, it’s difficult to figure out who is in charge. When I’m faced with this, I go through Ancestry.com (basic subscriptions are pretty cheap) and look up the name on the headstone. I can usually find a next of kin, or a sorta close relative anyway. I then offer to repair the headstone for a nominal fee or if it’s not something I can fix, I provide them with a reference to a conservationist or restoration company. It’s up to that family member then to agree to the repair. At the end of the day, the headstone more or less belongs to them and they have a right to let it get ruined. If you repair it without getting permission, you run into certain legal risks. What if you take it upon yourself to repair the headstone and it gets damaged? In that case, you’re at fault, even if you had good intentions.

  2. Thanks for your email

    Today I was at the FHS as I volunteer there and I was asked to help put together a spreadsheet of burials. I offered once before but at that time was not needed. I said today I would do it if I have the time.

    Re the headstones, the cemetery has been there for over 100 years so some of them are pretty old!


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