It is truly amazing the turnaround that can come about for a cemetery, its gravesites, and gravestones, from just one day's work put in by a dedicated group of volunteers!
Five years ago the Sheep Pen Cemetery (AKA Limes or Gustin Cemetery) suffered from a brutal vandalism attack that left most of its monuments and markers in shambles. The cemetery grounds were covered with monuments that were forcibly knocked over and separated from their bases. Among the casualties were 1840s fragile tablet upright markers, that had stood the test of time up until that point, that were senselessly cracked in half and left lying broken on the ground.
Months later, there was a restoration done by a local monument company to fix the worst of the repairs needed as best that could be done, however, overall there remained many condition problems with the gravestones at Sheep Pen Cemetery where the earliest known burial was Nancy Boyd in 1836.
But, all that changed this past Saturday, on June 25th, thanks to the the Greenfield Historical Society sponsored hands-on all day workshop.
Thus, it was a win-win; for the workshop participants who were taught the best practices of Do No Harm -- meaning also NO power tools of any kind were used! (per the guidelines of AGS - The Association for Gravestone Studies, NCPTT of the National Park Service) and for the gravestones of the early pioneers who had walked some of the same terrain of the Madison Township (Highland County) Perry Township (Fayette County) area. I know they would be expressing their heartfelt appreciation to all concerned if they were here.
Sharing photographs below courtesy of Scott Andersen: