Fostertown Cemetery Stones Cautiously Restored
The first thing I have to say this week is “thank you” to everyone who participated this week in the gravestone cleaning workshop and demonstration of headstone resetting.
Kurt Riegel, a historic preservation specialist, demonstrated how to take an old headstone, which had fallen years and years ago lying flat on the ground, turn it upright again, and properly excavating to allow for it to be inserted to the correct depth to ensure its resurrection for many years to come. Kurt’s a wealth of information of the how’s, why’s, and don’ts of performing this task. And, he didn’t get frustrated with the abundance of questions we bombarded him with. Marianne Greenfield, proprietor of Gravestone Cleaning Service, instructed participants in the recommended method of cleaning gravestones. Marianne takes the time to thoroughly explain the process, stressing potential safety issues first. She follows up with individual instruction during the cleaning process on the selected gravestones with those performing the task. She was everyone and watched over us all. Everyone was both happy and grateful for being there today. A great group if ever there was one.
Both Marianne and Kurt repeatedly stressed the importance of using only the recommended and correct cleaner and only the recommended and correct tools.The porous nature of stone is such that chemicals are absorbed into the stoneand will remain long after the initial cleaning. The pH neutral cleaning agent and solution, with proper rinsing, provides excellent results without any damage. And, with proper cleaning, once the sun shines on the stone for a week or so, the stones continue to brighten.
Submitted by: Alan B. Crawford, Town of Newburgh Historian