Friday, April 30, 2010

Broken Tombstones and How to Repair Them

I am always amazed how many broken stones you see in some of the cemeteries you visit. We are spoiled in Fremont they work hard at keeping them repaired in the city cemetery but some of the other surrounding areas are in sad condition. Between just plain old fashioned age, vandals, accidents, weather, etc. they have taken their toll.

I look at these broken stones and wonder how did they break? Can they be fixed? How?

I have been told that if the stones have some structural integrity they usually can be put back together. But warning it is not as easy as it sounds. The first thing you need to do is figure out what kind of stone it is made of. Putting metal bolts, drilling etc. is no longer advised. Duct tape will fix anything but not advised for grave stone repairs.

Many of the new epoxies work great some can be repaired with mortars to join broken fragments but this method often makes the stone look sloppy and unattractive since the mortar is usually thick and mats.

My husband’s family bought an old train depot several years ago and found an old broken tombstone underneath it. My Mother in Law has spent many years researching the woman it was for and her children. She has always wanted to repair it and set it on her grave site. The story of the broken tombstone has been told at Cemetery Walks and different events in Newaygo County. Now it is time to help her get it repaired. So our summer project is to learn all we can on this subject and get it done. Wish us luck. She has written a story about Sarah Utley the lady it was for. At a future date I will add it for your reading pleasure.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! Harriet Peavey contacted me a few years ago with information about the broken headstone. MY husband is a direct descendant of the Yerkes family. Sarah Yerkes Utley would be his gr, gr,gr,gr,gr Aunt!

    I would love to have more info on the broken headstone. I believe she mentioned she had a picture of Sarah's house as well. Is there a way I can get in touch with Harriet or is there someone else who can help?

    Thanks so much, Erin Oldford, Hartland, MI