Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cemetery Conservation: Righting a stone

This morning I had the pleasure of watching cemetery conservation in action. Kai Nalenz of Gravestones Services of New England was contracted by the Vine Lake Preservation Trust to do some work on the stones in Vine Lake Cemetery in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Today I got to see Kai in action. He was busy "righting" the toppled stone of a Civil War veteran.

Here Kai is digging around the gravestone before attempting to lift it up.

The lifting begins....

Kai and Vine Lake Preservation Trust President, Rob Gregg, get a
first look at the long buried inscription.

Kai cleans off the face of the gravestone.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay long enough to see him position it in place. I'll have to visit again in the next day or two. This was grueling work in 90+ F temperatures. Yet Kai and Rob were very good sports and completed this very important work.

Copyright 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis
May not be distributed or "fed" through another website without permission


  1. This was very interesting! Thanks for posting the photographs and sharing.

  2. This is impressive. I never realized what was involved in righting a stone. I should have known.

    I am hopeful that someday I will be able to access the graves of my great grandparents at Immaculate Conception Cemetery in Lawrence. Their graves are down a hill that is terribly overgrown and before the director of the cemetery realized it, trucks had been going in at night and dumping down that hill. I had hoped to find some group willing to clean this up but have not yet been able to. It is quite distressing.

  3. Thanks for posting this. I have a stone toppled at Salem, Massachusetts in a family plot, and I would love to see who it is! I wonder what they charge to right a stone? This is a big one.

  4. Hi Marian,
    Your post fits the subject I asked about exactly. Thank you.