Picture by Joanne Rathe, Boston Globe
Well, I starting reading about the restoration of gravestones so I could learn more about the process since we may be doing this for one of our ancestors this year. There is a lot of information on this topic, but if you need to preserve a stone, be careful and talk to several experts before hiring someone or conducting the work yourself.
There are companies who focus on repairing grave sites and sunken stones so if that is a problem for your family cemetery, conduct an online search for those in your area. There are several techniques which make sense when you consider the different sizes of stones. The larger ones may need a cement base added for support. But smaller gravestones may be fine by adding another small stone underneath to provide enough support to stop further sinking for a long time.
In my search I found a blog belonging to Jack Robinson, a retired Marine who researches abandoned or endangered cemeteries, and he details his technique to personally restore headstones to an upright and stable position on this post.
For more on cleaning and resetting ideas, you can see a detailed pictorial at the blog “Beyond the Gravestone” written by a husband/wife team who conduct a consulting business around gravestone restoration in Connecticut.
What a wonderful act of honor to make sure our ancestors’ memorials are preserved for future generations.