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'I really want our cemeteries to look better'

Zoe Greszler • May 11, 2017 at 9:00 AM

MONROEVILLE — Many of the area gravestones are in desperate need of repair, and the local genealogical chapter has taken it upon themselves to lead a resurrection project. 

President of Huron County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society Diane Meyer said “every president has their passion — mine is cemeteries.

I really want our cemeteries to look better,” she said. “We have Revolutionary War soldier stones and Civil War soldier stones that are in bad shape, and we don’t like to see our veteran stones like that. We need to honor that. That’s my passion.”

The society decided a community class on the care of gravestones from Gravestone Guardians was the best option. This class will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Monroeville’s Riverside Cemetery, on U.S. 20. Cost for the class is $35 and the price is non-refundable but is transferable. There will be a one hour break for lunch and water will be provided for the day. 

“This gentleman (from Gravestone Guardians) is going to bring all the supplies we’re going to need to do this,” Meyer said.

“We’re going to learn how to clean them in the correct way. If you go into a cemetery and and say I’m just going to clean this — soap, water and a scrub brush — that can’t hurt anything, but it can. If you go at a stone like that, depending on the stone especially, in 10 to 15 years the writing will be gone. You can not treat a stone like that. You have to be gentle. He’s going to show us the proper things to clean it with, show us how to set stones back up that have fallen, how to repair broken stones and how to set up the big monuments. He brings a big tripod because those can weigh hundreds of pounds.

“So once we take this class, then we want to start a committee and we’re going to invite (everyone to join), though they don’t have to be in the geneology group, we certainly welcome them to join. It’ll be just a committee of anyone in the county who wants to help and we’ll just once in a while take what we learn and go from cemetery to cemetery and work on their old stones.

Six of the 20 spots are still open, according to Meyer. Anyone wanting to sign up or get more information can go to their website at http://www.hcc-ogs.org/ or email Meyer at [email protected]

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