Cemeteries are unique places in our lives. Some are beautiful, some are historic, and some are even entertaining. There is a quiet sadness about all cemeteries because they are the final resting places of our loved ones. We intend to post pictures here of cemeteries and head stones that are original photographs. We are looking for beauty, dignity, funny and above all something interesting. Feel free to comment and to contribute. We will provide a mail box if you want to contribute.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Damaged Grave Stones

It turns out that the topic of stone damage is really, really big!  I am guessing that I will be posting on the subject many times.  If you don't see what might be important to you please send me an email and I will try to get information and of course some original pictures.

I mentioned before that my Mothers monument suffered from some damage from Lichens.  Lichen is a kind of plant that grows on stone.  It make acids and attaches to stone and can eventually break the stone.  Lichen is one of those forces that we call erosion.  Stone is a resilient material, but it can be damaged and even destroyed.
This is part of the monument that is above my Mother's grave.  There is a base and this vase-like stone piece.  Flowers can be placed in the vase and I some time do that. This was taken during the very final stages of the Winter, so no flowers.  The monument server as a marker for My Mother, her Father and Mother.  Her Mother, my Grandmother died in the 1938 Hurricane along with a generation of mothers from Christ Church, Westerly, Rhode Island.  Notice the discolored rings at various spots on the vase.
This is a close-up of part of the base of the monument which shows the Lichen on the Granite stone.  I am still uncertain what might be done.  I don't want to damage the stone myself and make things worse.  I am researching the matter.
 This is a different stone with Lichen growing at a juncture between the top and bottom parts of the monument.

As common as Lichen on the stones are broken stones.  I do not know what caused these breaks, but some of these stones were broken and then later repaired.  This is an interesting stone as well as having been broken.

Both of these stones were broken at one time and then repaired.  There is no indication as to the cause of the break.  At various time I have read of vandalism in Cemeteries.  Often stones are broken or overturned in such episodes of vandalism. I am providing a link to an article on this kind of vandalism.  I do not know that any of the damaged stones were caused by vandalism!  I do not know what caused this damage at all.
This stone is so damaged that there is only a small piece of it still visible above the ground.

This stone has fallen from it's base and is lying on the ground.  The base is tilted here.  The monument is located at the edge of the cemetery and there is a sharp drop off.  Perhaps there was some erosion under the base stone and the whole thing tipped over.  This is also in the down town area of Meriden, CT so other things are possible.

This damage is quite different.  Large portions of the side of this stone have broken off.  I am guessing that this is from weathering.  Stone can fracture if water gets into small cracks and freezes.  The winters in New England are often hard  and this is a monument from the mid 19th Century.

I will from time to time revisit this topic with new pictures and possibly some new thoughts on damaged monuments.  Nature I am sure is the greatest cause of damage, but people have to be considered as causes also.  As for nature, all we can do is choose better materials and try to protect and maintain the stones.  The damage from people is truly sad and totally preventable.

No comments:

Post a Comment