Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio

"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."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

My Message to You about Upcoming Hands-On Cemetery Preservation & Restoration Workshop Information Shared on This Blog

First, extending my thank you to all who have been following this blog and for your kind loyalty. 

This blog post is for the purpose of clarifying information about hands-on cemetery preservation and restoration workshops held in Ohio or surrounding states that are shared on this blog.  

The cemetery preservation workshop information posted here is a service to the readers who are interested in enrolling in training classes and want to be sure they attend those that are known to adhere to Do No Harm Best Practices that have been published by such organizations as the Association for Gravestone Studies and the National Park's Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) which are well respected leaders in the field of cemetery preservation in America for a number of years. 

So, what does all of this mean to you?  It means that you won't be seeing links on this blog to cemetery preservation workshops in Ohio or surrounding states that fail to adhere to Do No Harm Best Practice Guidelines of these organizations -- even if the instructor advertises he or she was trained at workshops sponsored by these organizations. 
More specifically, you won't be directed to workshops conducted by instructors who demonstrate and promote the use of abrasive, aggressive, methods to clean and "polish" gravestones -- even if the claim is to restore them to a like new condition.

Click HERE for the NCPTT's July, 2014 article: "Abrasive Cleaning of Gravemarkers" for more in-depth information.

The harmful cleaning practice that has unfortunately proliferated stems from a couple of Indiana based companies that demonstrate and advocate the use of Nyalox hard plastic brush wheels of various types that attach to high speed power drills.  The instructor 'grinds off' the outer layer of gravestones; often used on marble gravestones -- including military markers.  White marble dust is seen on the ground surrounding the gravestones afterward.  This abrasive work is done indiscriminately during these workshops meaning that your ancestors' gravestones may be among those that end up being "Nyaloxed" without your knowledge or consent.

Thus, it is always advisable to inquire with those who hold hands-on cemetery preservation and restoration workshops, whether held in Ohio or elsewhere, if power tools such as power drills with Nyalox brush wheels will be used for cleaning gravestones.  

If they don't know, ask them to find out.  You pay good money to enroll, so it is your right to know up front the important details about your training to be sure you learn properly.    
Examples of approved cleaners for most gravestones are distilled water,  Orvus Soap, and  D/2 Biological Solution.

The grouping of photographs below shows the same stone before it was "Nyaloxed"; after it was "Nyaloxed"; and seven years later. The process does not inhibit the reformation of lichens or other biological growth.

We say NO to Nyalox!