On September 20-21, 2012 NCPTT’s materials conservator Jason Church taught two cemetery monument conservation workshops as part of the Kentucky Heritage Council annual Historic Preservation Conference. Church’s contribution to the well attended and diverse annual conference was entitled “Our History Rests Here: Preservation and Restoration of Historic Cemeteries, Part 1 and Part 2″.
The first day of the workshop began with lectures at the First Baptist Church in Dawson Springs, KY. Lectures by Church covered Cemetery Documentation and Research, Making a Preservation Plan, and the Proper Stone Cleaning Techniques. Kary Stackelbeck, Archaeology Review Coordinator with the Kentucky Heritage Council also presented on State Cemetery Regulations and Advocacy Perspectives.
After lunch the class did hands-on field sessions at the Arcadia Cemetery in Dawson Springs, KY. At the cemetery Church discussed ways to protect historic iron fencing and lead stone cleaning demonstrations. and Princeton, KY. Philip Mink Archaeologist with the Kentucky Heritage Council lead a field session on the use of Ground Penetrating Radar for mapping of unmarked graves and abandoned cemeteries.
The second day of the conference began in downtown Princeton, KY with “Bringing the Dead Back to Life-Perpetual Care of Historic Cemeteries: Cemetery Preservation Roundtable” in the sanctuary of the Central Presbyterian Church. Ann Johnson with the State Cemetery Preservation Program gave an eye opening presentation entitled “Tombstone Tales; Horror Stories from KY Cemeteries”. This was followed by Peggy Guier KY Heritage Council Attorney discussing State protection legislation and rulings and Jason Church talking on Federal regulations for burials and cemeteries.
After the roundtable discussion the hands-on field session continued at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Princeton, KY. Day two hands-on included cleaning tips and techniques for historic stone, resetting techniques, and simple repair techniques. After lunch guest presentations were give by Gary Keshner and Nathaniel Jones both of Cathedral Stone Products. Gary and Nathaniel talked with the workshop participants about stone patching techniques.