Learn How to Clean, Repair & Preserve Historic Gravestones & Cemetery Monuments of all Types and Ages.
Gravestone Conservation Workshop Scheduled in New Paltz, NY- for October 19-20, 2015
Gravestone Preservation Workshop- October 19-20, 2015
New Paltz, New York
Historic Huguenot Street
88 Huguenot Street
New Paltz, NY 12561
More info will follow ASAP............
This workshop will provide two days of hands-on training on the conservation and maintenance of cemetery monuments and gravestones. Jonathan Appell will lead hands-on, interactive training for participants, covering topics including how to re-set stones, repair to fragmented stones, appropriate repair materials, use of infill material, and methods for re-pointing and cleaning masonry
Gravestone and Monument Repair Workshop- May 26-27,, 2015
Instructed by Jonathan Appell, Monuments Conservator.
Gravestone Conservation Workshop Scheduled in Martinsburg on Sept. 26
The Trustees of the Norborne Cemeteries in Martinsburg, WV are sponsoring a day long workshop on gravestone preservation. Jonathan Appell, nationally known gravestone and monument preservation expert, will present the workshop. Register at the Eventbrite page.
Read about him at http://www.gravestoneconservation.com/
Learn how to safely clean, level and repair headstones and monuments. The workshop will teach basic conservation and repair techniques. At a slow-working pace, all techniques will be described in detail as work is performed. Different types of repairs will be shown representing various types of work commonly needed in historic cemeteries.
Participants will learn:
Safe cleaning techniques
Hands-on skills in resetting a tablet stone
Joining broken gravestone fragments
Pros and cons of using epoxy
Replacing eroded or lost stone
Cement and concrete vs headstones
Old Norborne Cemetery was laid out by Adam Steven, founder of Martinsburg, Virginia (now West). It was established by an enactment of the Virginia General Assembly as a burying ground in 1778. There approximately 1,111 graves in the “Burying Ground” The oldest marker is dated 1800. Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War (both Union and Confederate), WWI and WWII are intered here.
Extreme inclement weather may cause a change of date.
Additional Donations Gratefully Accepted!!
Have questions about GRAVESTONE PRESERVATION WORKSHOP? Contact Trustees of Norborne Cemeteries
Gravestone Conservation Workshop Scheduled in Colorado Springs, Colorado
on October 9-10, 2015
Gravestone Restoration and Preservation Workshop
October 9th-10th of 2015
Colorado Springs, CO 80904
The Evergreen Cemetery Benevolent Society is hosting a two- day gravestone preservation/restoration and repair workshop at Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO.
Contact info: Evergreen Cemetery Society- firstname.lastname@example.org or Jonathan Appell www.gravestonepreservation.info , 860-558-2785
Jon taught this class last year at Evergreen Cemetery and the information we came away with is allowing us to repair more stones than we thought possible. I can’t say enough of Jon’s knowledge and training. Jon Appell has been teaching classes across the country for over sixteen years.
In taking this workshop you will come away with the knowledge you need to care for your own historic cemetery by learning the tools and techniques in proper gravestone repair. Many historic gravestones have been destroyed due to untrained individuals and incorrect techniques. This is a hands on workshop where you will be working on actual stones that will be the same type of stones in your own cemetery.
The cost of the class will be $150 for one day, or $250 for 2 days per person. This will include breakfast and lunch each day. If you plan to attend only one day you are able to attend either day, as there will be review on the start of day 2.
Mailing Address: C/0 Dianne Hartshorn, 2620 South Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
About 65 pages of printed materials are also included to each person in attendance, covering conservation, history, historic mortars, cemetery safety a materials list and more.
If you are in need of hotel accommodations, please contact Dianne, and I will work with assisting you in finding rooms.
Gravestone Conservation Lecture & Workshop Scheduled in Cane Hill, Arkansas
on October 23-24, 2015
AHPP cemetery preservation workshop. Cane Hill, Washington County, Saturday, October 24 and a lecture on cemetery materials and maintenance the evening of Friday, October 23.
Information on registration and agendas will be forthcoming.
Any questions can be directed to Holly Hope at 501 324-9148 or e-mail email@example.com.
Typical 3 Day Long Workshop Schedule:
This outline will act as a general guideline for the content of the workshop. Due to the variability found in every graveyard there are many unknown factors, which are impossible to predict. This can complicate and alter the time required to perform any specific task. Therefore, the exact time- table and schedule may be altered, but all of the techniques and treatments will be conducted, or if not possible discussed and demonstrated during the course of the entire workshop.
9AM-9:15- Introductions, workshop overview, basic logistics
9:15- 10:30- Walking tour of the oldest area in cemetery.
Topics will include
Basic geology relating to gravestones, monuments, and historic masonry.
Typical gravestone and monument styles and common problems associated with them will be discussed, including historic metal pinning, historic mortars, lawn mower issues
Stones will be selected as candidates for treatments.
Questions and discussion is encouraged.
10:30- 10:45- Short break for attendants, cleaning materials are set up.
Documentation and assessment
Photography and proper lighting
Employing a mirror to improve lighting
How to clean gravestones: including marble, sandstone, granite and all historic masonry.
The philosophy of cleaning gravestones will be discussed, and safe- cleaning techniques will be demonstrated on a stable gravestone, which will benefit from the cleaning treatment. Attendants will perform cleaning of additional gravestones, which are deemed safe to be cleaned without doing harm. The various kinds of staining will be discussed, comparing atmospheric and biological cleaning problems and solutions.
A biological cleaning solution will be employed for applications on lichens, molds, fungus, etc
Stone cleaning poultice also discussed and demonstrated for difficult to clean details is carved stone and objects.
12:15- 1PM- Lunch
Afternoon treatment tools and materials are set up.
Raising, re-leveling and re-setting gravestones
How to repair fallen gravestones without inflicting further damage to the stone without any lifting equipment, provided they are not too massive is size.
Repairing fractured gravestones and monuments
Surface preparation of mating surfaces, removing old repair adhesives which have failed. Problems with removing hard and Portland Cement based mortars.
Stone epoxies, pros and cons and proper mixing and application
3PM- 3:10 PM- Short break
Setting & re-setting of multiple piece monuments often composed from marble.
To pin or not to pin, that is the question.
Raising and leveling of base stones. Leverage and setting bar styles, sizes and usage.
Joining monumental elements. Options for joining monumental elements, traditional materials and techniques vs
modern setting materials and techniques. Application and use of monument setting compound, stone epoxy used in mating application, the need for spacers between stone elements, issues with plastic spacers, advantages of wedge lead.
Resetting tablet stone into slotted socket base including mixing and application of a historic pointing mortar, pointing, re-pointing and tooling mortar joints, protection of mortar for curing
Mortars, a historical overview on lime mortars
NHL mortars & Natural Cements
Problems with Portland cement on historic stone
Infilling, creating mortars, color matching and application
Problems with fractures at ground level
Options for reinforcement of tablet stones
Creating a cast replacement socket base with wood forms or earth form
12:15- 1PM- Lunch
Afternoon treatment tools and materials are set up.
Overview on lifting of heavy stones and other objects
Understanding the lifting tripod, including chain hoists, slings and basic rigging safety issues when working with heavy weights
Rigging and resetting of a fallen multiple piece monument
Discussion on ferrous and non-ferrous metal pinning sometimes used historically to mate stone elements
How to use pads and softs to protect stone
3PM- 3:10 PM- Short break
3:10 PM- 4:30PM
Problems with repairing stones, which have been imbedded in concrete
Alternative techniques to work with large monolithic stones, and previously puddled stones
Leverage with large setting bars
Re-leveling of large monuments without overhead lift
Removal of form from newly cast base on day 2
mortar mixed and applied
tablet reset into new base
mortar joints tooled
Problems associated with sealing of stone
Discussion on rising damp and the need for breathability
Stone consolidation overview
Consolidation of a marble gravestone
Alternative cemetery monument re-setting techniques
Raising onto blocking without overhead left
Cleaning and preparation of mating surfaces
Lowering headstones off blocks without inflicting damage
12:15- 1PM- Lunch
Group interactive working experience employing numerous skills learned throughout the workshop
Limitations and dangers of working with large and very heavy objects stressed
Tripod will be employed with focus on setup and safety
Students perform all tasks with supervision
4PM- 4:30 PM
Review, questions and answers
Each attendant will receive a folder of printed materials.
The workshop will be a hands on, interactive event.
You are welcome to tape, photograph or video the workshop as desired.
All tools and materials are provided.
Please dress for working outdoors as weather can be variable.
Bring gloves, wear sturdy shoes to work in.
Sun and bug spray if desired
What? That sounds strange to you? Well, cemeteries are actually the site of a lot of preservation. The elements can cause quite a bit of damage to that headstone, add in time, neglect, settling ground, expanding tree roots, abrasive cleaning, and the unfortunate occasional vandalism, and you've got some work to do.
This past August Leadville was the site of the annual Preservation Trades Network symposium. Lucky for me, I was able to get some real hands-on experience my first week of school. One of featured workshops was the 'Cemetery Preservation Workshop' led by Jonathan Appell, an expert in the field of both cleaning and restoring deteriorating monuments in aging cemeteries.
I gotta say this workshop was really fascinating. Restoring monuments in cemeteries is far from any image I have in my mind when I think Historic Preservation, but when you think about it, it certainly fits right in.
Here's a question for you...What would you say is the most common material used for headstones in U.S. cemeteries today? Marble you say? Well actually, very little marble is used in American cemeteries today, (though it used to be) it is in fact barred in some states altogether. The most common material used in U.S. monuments today is granite. Granite is extremely strong and will show very little weathering over the course of many many years. As we learned throughout the day, typically headstones were made of whatever material was available to the geographical region. With the connection of train lines however, larger and more varied materials were used for monuments as they were more accessible. As seen in the Leadville cemetery, marble, zinc and granite were the most common materials used for headstones. (We're talking about 100 years ago)
In addition to the above mentioned enemies of monuments, water is any mason’s biggest foe. Water can come from below, or through the ground into the structure. It can come from above, in the case of rain, and more specifically today, acid rain, and it can come from within as in condensation. Water can draw out the salts of the material, and cause rapid deterioration.
In addition to learning all about the materials and history of U.S. cemeteries, the participants got to work on 3 different monuments. I'll share the details of the largest one we worked on.
You can see the challenge we faced. This marble headstone had fallen off of it's base and substantially sunken into the earth. This was a pretty big monument, I couldn't see how we were going to get this sucker out of the earth and back onto its base without throwing out a few backs. Jonathan must have some magic that I was anxious to see.
The first thing we did was dig up around the monument to clear some of the earth so that we could get under it with a level and pull it up out of the ground.
We then cleaned off the marble using a soft brush and water, using care not to be abrasive as this could cause further damage.
Then Jonathan pulled out his magic. He demonstrated how to use a tripod to lift the headstone onto the base after the cleaning and leveling of the two fragments. This was a simple yet effective process for using a pulley system to lift the very heavy stone.
Before placing the monument back on its base, we applied a monument setting compound, epoxy and very small pieces of lead to the base of the monument to allow the headstone to secure to the base, and to allow for proper fitting of the two fragments. The base retained it’s metal pins, which the headstone was reaffixed to. After joining the two pieces, we cleaned off the compound, and that was it, done!
Pretty cool huh. It was actually much easier than I would have thought. Though this workshop was only one day, I learned a ton. My favorite part though, was meeting the wonderful man that takes care of the Mason's tract at the cemetery. He's been coming here for many years to clean and preserve all of the headstones associated with the Masons. He doesn't get paid, and no one asked him to do it, he just wants to. He's made makeshift wooden signs for those missing their names, he waters the lawn, cleans the monuments etc. He just happened to be there that day, and after talking to him for a bit, he decided to join our session and learn a few things himself. What an amazing man!
Breathing New Life Into Montana's Cemeteries
By KFBB News Team
Montana has thousands of historic cemeteries in need of repair and maintenance, and on Friday, a nationally known gravestone and cemetery care expert held a workshop at the Benton Avenue Cemetery in Helena to share his special knowledge.
They seem strong and durable- built to last forever- but gravestones become fragile over time and require lots of care if they are to remain precious pieces of history. Graveyards contain within them priceless historical information, and gravestones are often the only thing remaining in their original locations from previous generations. However, some worry that our graveyards are already in an advanced state of decay, and they recognize the risk of losing this history if something is not done about it.
Jonathan Appell, an expert on cemetery conservation, explains, “How we treat our history relates to how, you know, our society is as a whole. I mean, there’s so much that’s lost, so much historic material has been lost. Our history reflects on, you know, our attitude of the present and future.”
Appell dedicates his life to the preservation and restoration of cemeteries. He spreads his knowledge by holding workshops across the country and teaching others techniques such as tombstone repair, care and cleaning of headstones, and how to conserve and maintain cemeteries.
He explains, “We cover many different subjects. It's a really diverse kind of subject matter that ties together historic masonry, touches on archaeology, burial traditions, ichnography is touched on, so it’s many, many different disciplines are touched on.”
Appell says he recognizes that we live in a world where environmental elements are a source of degradation, land development infringes upon graveyards and diminishes their historic perspective, and changing attitudes towards death and burial customs leave few opportunities available for those who want to safeguard our heritage carved in stone.
He says, “It’s kind of a specialized niche, and there’s not many people that specialize in it. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of funding in many areas that are designated for this, and therefore, you know, it often times falls between the cracks, if you will.”
Appell’s workshops receive positive feedback, and those who attend say it makes them feel good to breathe new life into what are essentially open air museums.
Leonard Thomas, Superintendent of the Hillcrest Cemetery in Deer Lodge, says, “You know, a cemetery is a place to come to reflect on life, not death.”
Zena McGlashan is a writer from Butte, currently working on a book about cemeteries. She explains, “Our cemeteries are a metaphor for our past, and if we don’t respect our history, then we lose a lot in the translation.”
EPHRAIM — They don't build things like they used to.
While that can be a good thing for modern buildings that can have more strength and structure, it can be not-so-good when it comes to repairing, restoring and renovating things built in the past.
Sometimes new ways of construction are diametrically opposed to methods used in the past, and using those methods and materials on old things can do more harm than good, says Russ Mendenhall, director of the Traditional Building Skills Institute, based at Snow College.
Take something as simple as old gravestones, for example, he says. Many of the gravestones in the old pioneer cemetery in Ephraim are made of soft limestone, which can weaken and crumble over time. But repairing them can be tricky. "Using modern materials against that soft stone can actually cause more destruction."
So, on a recent weekend, several interested participants attended a workshop at the cemetery to learn appropriate methods of repair and restoration for old gravestones.
The workshop is the latest addition to the curriculum of the TBSI; instructor for the course was Jonathan Appell, a monument worker based in West Hartford, Conn., who has become involved in monument preservation in a big way. He's been doing it full-time since 2000, and now gives workshops all over the country. "We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber here," Mendenhall says.
For Appell, it's all about conserving, preserving and increasing the public appreciation of the history found in a graveyard. "It is next to impossible to protect an open-air museum, such as a burying ground, from all the potential causes of degradation," he said.
Weather, erosion, acid rain and local pollution and composition of original materials all can contribute to problems over the years. "Yet proper maintenance will go a long way toward helping preserve our heritage carved in stone. And techniques used for modern monuments are not always appropriate."
Over the course of the three-day workshop, students learned how to dig under foundations to straighten tilting stones; how to glue broken pieces together with a special epoxy; how sand and gravel make better fill than dirt; how sometimes a small slab must be sacrificed to stabilize and anchor the whole. Sadly, they also learned that not everything can be fixed.
"I learned a lot about taking care of old stones," said Shane Davis, who works for Ephraim city and cares for the old cemetery.
"My wife and I are sextons of the Newton cemetery," said Dan Douglas. "We learned much more here than we expected. There's no sense in doing things wrong. This should be required for every cemetery worker in the state."
"It was an outstanding workshop," added Dave Bernhisel, a member of the Farmington City historic Preservation commission. "We learned great skills that we can put to use tomorrow."
Why bother to fix old and worn stones?
"Cemeteries are for the living," Appell said, "which is why we are willing to go to so much time and effort to preserve them. So much of the original natural fabric of the past lies undisturbed here. Cemeteries appeal geographically, aesthetically, on so many different levels."
Over the years, he said, he has learned that "the way people treat the past says a lot about how they will deal with the future."
And that, Mendenhall says, is at the core of the Traditional Building Skills Institute.
The program was established in 1996 at Snow College, as a partnership between the college, the University of Utah College of Architecture and Planning and the State of Utah Historic Preservation Office.
An impetus for the program was the fire in the Governor's Mansion, explained Diana Spencer, a retired English professor, who is on the TBSI board. "When they started to restore the mansion, there weren't enough craftsmen in the state who could do the work, and they had to bring in people from out of state. Wilson Martin, with the Utah Historic Preservation Office, is really the father of the program. He thought we should come up with a way to develop our own craftsmen."
Since its inception, the program has grown from offering a handful of workshops each year to offering several dozen, teaching such things as log cabin restoration, historic masonry, ornamental stonework, wood windows and millwork, timber framing, tile painting, stained glass, wood furniture and more.
"A lot of our instructors are people who have been doing their trade for years, and some have felt that their craft would die with them," Spencer said. "They are so happy to teach others these old skills."
In addition to workshops, TBSI has recently added an associate degree program, which offers students even more options. "As more commercial buildings and homes qualify as historic sites, more workers are needed to meet the needs of restoration and preservation. Our program is for students interested in this growing industry," he said.
Their TBSI program is the only one of its kind in the West, he said. "We've grown steadily, and we have a good footing."
Another successful addition to the program in recent years has been an annual trip (sometimes more than one) to England and Wales to work on preservation projects. That, he says, is a great opportunity for students to see very old construction. TBSI is also exploring a project working on Pacific Coast lighthouses, Spencer says.
"It's an outstanding program," says Keith MacKay, owner of State Stone in Salt Lake City and a member of the TBSI board, who has also been involved in restoration work on the Governor's Mansion, the Nauvoo and Vernal temples and more. Speaking as an employer, he said, "in the past I've had to hire people and then train them." To be able to hire people who already have the skills is a huge boost, and a time-saver. "This is a profession with lots of jobs, and skills are needed."
The underlying premise of TBSI is, as its mission statement notes, the "understanding that our historic built environment enriches the lives of citizens and communities."
Whether it is gravestones, log cabins, old churches or businesses, homes or schools, these things tells us who we are and where we came from, he says. The Highway 89-plus corridor from Sanpete County down to Kane County was designated as a National Pioneer Heritage Area in 2006.
In some ways, Mendenhall says, "We've had preservation by way of poverty. Towns couldn't afford to tear down buildings and replace them with new ones."
But now, more and more people realize what treasures they are, he says. "This is really something we all put our hearts and souls into."
Jonathan Appell's Workshop at Forest Hill Cemetery