Thursday, December 5, 2013

Preserving Family Memories... Making Stones Last Forever

Well if you have read my blog for any period of time you may have realized I have a passion for cemeteries. I don't know what it is, maybe it's knowing that they are right there, or that their descendants where standing at that very same spot when their loved one was laid to rest. Earlier this spring I got to attend a class about Preserving Cemeteries taught by Mandi Brown of Northwest Missouri. She introduced me to this chemical called D/2 Biological Solution I eventually bought one before making my rounds to the family cemeteries on Memorial Day. One stop in particular was to a cemetery called Sugar Creek in Rushville, Mo. there is the final resting place of many branches of the Moore family, and the oldest Robert Moore my 3rd Great Grandfather.

I am not going to go into great detail on his back story but after crossing the pond to America, he joined in the Civil War. He eventually married and moved west to Rushville where he settled down and lived a long life.

His tombstone is over 100 yrs old and has been covered with black mold/lichen for as long as I can remember. After getting my gallon bottle of D/2 I ventured out with my Great Aunts on the Friday before Memorial Day. I poured the solution into a pump bottle so that I could spray it on the stones. Without any scrubbing or touching of the stone, other then pulling dead grass of the base, I proceeded to spray the stone with the D/2 solution. I was a little sceptical at first, as I soaked the stone and the solution ran down the face of the stone, it started turning brown. I left it at that hoping it would do its magic and clean the stone without damaging it.

The summer passed, and I would say it was a pretty normal summer, hot and windy with the occasional rain shower. We have a family reunion at this cemetery the first Saturday of October every odd year. I visited the cemetery every month this summer but hadn't shared the results with anyone before the reunion. I was looking to see if any one noticed. Hopes went to high since I don't think anyone else is as crazy about the cemetery as I am. The reunion was great its fun to see how the family is growing. Like I had guessed no one really noticed the difference in the stone, potentially because they couldn't see it side by side, but when I pulled up pictures on my computer they where amazed.

I have been very pleased with the results of this D/2. I haven't been back to most of the cemeteries I visited Memorial day. I cant wait to see how the other stones turned out. I plan to purchase more this next spring and start cleaning more stones, and hopefully help preserve these memorials for future generations to come.

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