Tombstone cleaning and repair workshop offered

Class to be held Oct. 2-3 at cemetary

Submitted photo
The most common kind of staining found on gravestones and cemetery monuments is biological activity, which consists of algae, lichen, moss and mold. The hands-on workshop will give participants the knowledge and tools to clean stones of all ages.

LEWISTOWN — While fundraising for the rehabilitation of the African American Memorial Cemetery continues, a tombstone repair workshop will be held on Oct. 2-3 at the cemetery, located beside Enterprise Car Rental on North Juniata Street in Lewistown.

Professional stone restorer Jonathan Appell of Atlas Preservation will present the workshop, which is available to the public. Appell has directed workshops all over the eastern U.S. and is known for directing the moving and stabilization of what is known to be the oldest tombstone in America.

Saturday’s agenda during this hands-on workshop will focus on history, geology of tombstones and how to safely clean them. Sunday’s time will focus on leveling and lifting stones along with tips on how to make minor repairs.

Workshop hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

A suggested donation of $100 per person is requested to help pay for Appell’s visit. Exceptions may be made for groups and churches that have the need but not the finances. Contact workshop organizer Jenny Landis at (717) 248-6713 for more details.

The Facebook page African American Memorial Cemetery Restoration, Lewistown PA has additional information, as does the event page, Tombstone Repair Workshop. Checks are to be made to the JRV Chamber of Commerce and directed to their office in the Historic Courthouse, 1 W. Monument Square, Lewistown.

The workshop is one part of the African American Memorial Cemetery Restoration project. The Chamber of Commerce and the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau are co-hosting this project that is supported by a committee of volunteers.

The project encompasses three parts. The first is rehabilitating the cemetery by cleaning up the landscaping, installing educational signage and adding a more prominent entrance along the side complete with a metal arch. The second part is the workshop, and the third is researching and developing a more complete history of the cemetery and the people buried there.


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