On August 12th, my husband, my co-worker Colleen, and I attended a hands-on cemetery workshop where we learned how to properly treat and clean headstones. The workshop was sponsored by the Orange County Historian and was led by professional headstone cleaner & cemetery expert, Marianne Greenfield, a twenty-year member of the Association for Gravestone Studies and historian for the town of Delhi, NY. We joined Linda Standish, town historian at the Washingtonville, NY, cemetery that is cared for by Washingtonville Presbyterian Church. With their limited funding for perpetual care of the cemetery, it desperately needed some loving care and attention so the workshop was a great way to bring awareness to the cemetery’s needs while teaching at the same time.
We learned the differences between the available biologic cleaners and were taught how to apply D2 and scrub in a circular motion with a soft bristled brush while getting off lichen with a chopstick. I’d never thought about using a chopstick to clean a headstone before! We learned about the different types of stone used as well. It was very informative! Colleen and I chose to split a big monument that was moderately dirty and had lots of lichen spots. My husband chose a single stone nearby that was extremely dirty.
The results were amazing!