Sheep Pen Cemetery photographs courtesy of Scott Andersen - September, 2011 and April, 2012
"The Association for Gravestone Studies"
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"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been removed therefrom and no
bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity
as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."


A Straightened and Repaired Gravestone Restores Respect for the Deceased Person it Identifies

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Please Do Your Homework before Hiring a Professional for Cleaning and Repairing Your Ancestors' Gravestones

There have been discussions on the internet and elsewhere about the effects of using power tools, such as a rotary power tool seen in the picture posted below.

When the measures taken to clean a gravestone become obviously excessively aggressive, even if used by someone promoting themselves as a professional, please stop and consider how using such methods on your ancestors' gravestones can produce irreversible damage to them.

Examining the gravestone below, I feel it is evident, even to the untrained eye, that at least a layer of the stone's marble has been ground away into chalky particles. White marble dust covering the ground surrounding the stone tells us that is what has happened.  
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If you are contemplating hiring a professional or cleaning a gravestone yourself, please first do your homework!  One step you can take is to consult a known reputable organization like the Association for Gravestone Studies and study their gravestone conservation practices and recommendations.  
 A.G.S. has a  nice new website and, you can also visit the Association for Gravestone Studies on Facebook

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Remember how long it took to find that gravestone? Now it is important to do no harm, and ensure your ancestor's original grave marker will be in its best possible condition for many years to come.  They would thank you for your careful wisdom I'm sure!
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Thank you "Gravestone Guardians of Ohio" for bringing this issue to our attention!!

The picture below shows the gravestone being 'power polished' with a rotary power tool. 
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