Cemetery Restoration and Preservation
First and foremost, do no harm. Do not cut trees or large shrubs before clearing the property so that you can determine what needs to be saved. Before beginning, do an in-depth field research. Try to locate an existing map of the cemetery. If you locate one, determine if it needs to be updated. A map should show gate locations, existing trees and major plantings, structures, pathways, etc.
Do not fill in sunken spots; they may be unknown burials.
While many cemetery preservationists study and practice so they can appropriately clean and restore markers, we sometimes need help from "the professional." One that we can recommend is:
Texas Cemetery Restoration LLC
James "Rusty" Brenner
10122 Cherry Tree Dr
Dallas, TX 75243
ph: (214) 686-0014
web site: http://www.texascemeteryrestoration.com/
The D/2 Biological Solution that TCR uses has been tested and used by the National Park Service and the Veterans Administration Cemeteries. www.gravestonecleaner.com
Remote Sensing Flow Chart
Tombstone restoration and preservation should not be attempted without expert advice. First of all remember that the marker is not yours and you do not want to attempt extensive restoration without permission and study. Absolutely no power washing or sandblasting! There are safe methods with safe products.
Don’t forget to care for your hands after working in the cemetery. Use a gentle, soap-free cleanser, not a harsh detergent. Remove any odors by using a cleanser contain extracts of parsley or cucumber. If you need an exfoliating scrub to get rid of dirt, be sure it includes aloe or shea butter to avoid irritation. After cleaning your hands, treat them with a hand cream that contains moisturizers, such a glycerin, panthenol or petrolatum. (Better Homes and Gardens)
For booklet that can be printed out, Preserving Historic Cemeteries, Texas Preservation Guidelines go to http://www.thc.state.tx.us/cemeteries/cempreserve.shtml.
Houston Arts and Media (HAM) created a video in partnership with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) to inform about cleaning techniques and to encourage volunteerism.
HAM has partnered with the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution to present this video which is designed to increase volunteerism across Texas in hopes of preserving and documenting these sacred and historic places.