Old Methodist Cemetery, Deersville, Ohio
Although established in 1824, it is thought the first burials go back to 1820 or 1822. Deersville was founded in 1815 & sits astride the southern Moravian Trail. A crude path used by the French as a southern route between Fort Duquesne & Fort Detroit, as well as by the Moravian missionaries since the early 1750’s. A hundred or more years before that it linked Indian villages along the southwestern side of the Ohio River.
We began work in the front corner near the cemetery sign & the church.
These 2 tombstones for a husband & wife were very typical of what needed attention. John’s stone was almost unreadable due to a thick coating of likens. The base had also sunk below grade which helped cause the mortar to erode. Mary’s stone had been covered under a layer of sod & was lying behind her husband’s marker. Her base had apparently crumbled & disappeared long ago. We poured a new base for her at seasons end.
R.D. & Mary Hines were typical of the smaller 2 & 3 piece monuments that were either toppled over or loose.
2 months after we completed work on this monument, out of state descendants came to look him up. Noah will stand for at least another 100 yrs.
One of the many granite monuments that needed to be righted. It was cleaned, re-stacked, & leveled with new monument compound seal.
William Adams continues to get cleaner by the day.
By the 3rd week we were well under way.
By the end of the season the front area is ready for spring touch ups to complete this section.
The upper left corner of this picture gives you an idea of the poor condition of the George & Jane Baker stones.
We 1st cleaned, re-leveled, & reset George Baker & let his stone whiten over the summer. We searched for Jane’s base & found a crumbling pile of sandstone where her stone originally stood. It was clear we would have to construct a new base.
By spring Jane’s stone will whiten up & match her husband’s monument. The base we made for Jane is our 1st attempt at “base color matching”. We will tweak it in the spring with some greens & grays to better match her husband’s base.
Some of the cleanup this section received as we reset both monuments & foot stones.
We also cleaned & reset the cemetery’s only “Woodman of the World” monument.
John Yarnall was the 1st of the toppled granite monuments we took on. It was a related descendant that called us in to look at resetting the Civil War veteran’s stone. This 1 monument is what started an entire cemetery restoration.
A month earlier we cleaned up the family plot & reset 2 stones with 1 left to undergo specialized restoration. We removed the old crumbling concrete pad & reset this monument on a bed of pea gravel & sand. A concrete pad like the one that was under this monument will only deteriorate & crumble once again. A properly placed bed of gravel & sand will ebb & flow much better with the freeze & thaw cycles & not be resistant like concrete. If the ground is going to shift, the ground is going to shift & concrete pads aren’t going to stop that.
We were pleased to restore this stone for free to show our appreciation for the work it brought us.
We had a young & curious visitor for a short time.
Taking weight off the monument to level & straighten the base.
Disrespect in cemeteries has been going on longer than we think. We found pieces of this child’s stone from 1848 used as shims under a monument that had been placed in the cemetery 40 years later. There are a few Palmer’s buried in the old section of the cemetery. We will enjoy further investigating this mystery.
The Assembly Process.
No longer hidden by unwanted growth.
Some small plots are given respect once again as the cemetery gains a neater & cleaner appearance. We probed & excavated twice & were unable to find the doves head.
It was our great honor to restore the tombstone for one of Deersville’s founding fathers in time for the town’s bicentennial in 2015. Happy Birthday Deersville!
A great big warm thanks to Robert, Scott, & John for the help with the tri-pod & thousands of pounds of granite monuments.