Gravestone Preservation Workshop at Harpers Cemetery

The Harpers Ferry Historic Landmarks Commission, in coordination with Harpers Cemetery Board of Trustees and the WV Division of Culture and History, will host a two day workshop that will provide basic information and skills for people who are interested in preserving historic gravestones and cemetery monuments. The course will be provided by the Preservation Trades Network with staff from the NPS Historic Preservation Training Center.  Each day will have a slightly different focus, and the content will not be fully repeated each day. Participants are welcome to attend either or both days.  The workshop is free but participants must pre-register by contacting .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  The class size is limited to 25.  There will be a break for lunch and participants may find many nearby restaurants to choose from.  For questions, please call (404) 803-7321.

The exact scope of the workshop may vary depending on the most urgent and common needs but may include:

* Gravestone cleaning will be discussed, demonstrated and performed.  If they are very fragile they can be harmed if cleaned aggressively. Safe cleaning techniques will be explained with options outlined for best product selection.

* Re-setting of a tablet-stone, which is badly leaning, and or in a sunken condition.

* We will disassemble and then re-construct a multi-piece monument. This will involve discussion on some material options. The process includes re-leveling the base stone, removal of all joining material, applying bonding materials, lowering upper element into base stone safely, and properly re-grading around the stone.

* The attendees will also learn how to join broken gravestone fragments together employing stone epoxy, clamping and bracing techniques and options.

* We will discuss the pros and cons of drilling and employing blind pinning.

* An overhead, lifting tripod will be employed. We will discuss slings and rigging options, and then rig and lift a large monument of some type, which is in need or re-setting due to being unstable for some reason, or one that is already fallen.

* We will also discuss and demonstrate the materials required, and the process involved in replacing eroded or lost stone with the use of a stone infill material. This includes preparation, application, curing of mortars, color matching, etc.

* The process and potential need for consolidation of weak and decayed gravestones will be explained. The problems associated with sealing historic gravestones will be covered.

This workshop received Federal funds from the National Park Service. Regulations Department of the Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination in departmental Federally Assisted Programs   on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility operated by a recipient of Federal assistance should write to:  Office of Equal of the U.S. Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005