Workshops designed to repair, restore gravestones

From cleaning moss-covered gravestones to actually restoring them and putting the broken pieces back together, area residents can get in on some cemetery workshops sponsored by the Marietta Cemeteries Coming Alive (MCCA).

The workshops will be held May 3 and 10 at two different cemeteries.

The first workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 3 at Mound Cemetery. The Castle Education Director Misti Spillman, also a member of MCCA, said the event is free and open to the public.

“The cleaning (workshop) is just the basics for cleaning grave stones,” Spillman said. “It’s what to use and what not to use. It’s to get you started if you’re interested in taking care of grave stones.”

Spillman said the second workshop, Gravestone Preservation, on May 10 will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Harmar Cemetery.

“It’s the more intense one,” she said, adding that Mark Morton, who owns Gravestone Guardians of Ohio, will be conducting the workshop.

Spillman said the second workshop is labor intensive and is for those who already know a little about the basics of gravestone cleaning.

“If people already know the basics and want to know the proper way (to fix gravestones), that would be the one to go to,” she said.

Spillman added that there is a cap of 25 people for the preservation workshop.

Those who can’t make the workshop dates shouldn’t be alarmed; there will be others offered throughout the year, she said.

“There will be other opportunities if they can’t make either of these (workshops),” Spillman said, adding that the deadline for registration is April 25.

Those interested can go to The Castle’s Facebook page to register.

Castle Director Scott Britton, also a member of MCCA, said the importance of the workshops is huge in this area.

“We’re hoping to get folks from the whole Mid-Ohio Valley in, through Wood and Washington counties and the surrounding areas,” he said. “If a cemetery has been abandoned or seen some neglect, they can see techniques and see how to restore them. It’s certainly important in some smaller towns.”

Britton said the responsibility of gravestone maintenance should be taken up by residents in all communities around the area.

“The people in their home-areas (should) take responsibility for some of these (cemeteries) that aren’t being taken care of and make sure the monuments are preserved,” he said.