What’s Happening in the Cemetery?

The following is part of a report submitted on behalf of our church to the NJ Historic Trust. We print it here so that our readers may receive first-hand information on the developments in our old cemetery. We have much reason to be grateful for the wonderful work that Christine and her students undertake.

Christine Miller Cruiess, a part-time lecturer at Rutgers, will be leading a field school in the Cultural Heritage and Preservation Studies Program (CHAPS). The goal of the field school is two-fold. First, the students will conduct a conditions assessment that will inform a Preservation Plan for the cemetery, following the New Jersey Historic Preservation Office’s Historic Structure Reports and Preservation Plans. The preservation plan for the site will be heavily informed by students’ work during the Spring 2010 term, the pre-requisite course for the field school. During the Spring 2010 term, the students completed archival research on the cemetery and those interred there, research into the materials in the cemetery, research into different conservation methods and techniques that conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, and a survey form and glossary to document the current conditions of each individual grave marker in the cemetery. The preservation plan will build upon the students’ previous work and create a prioritized treatment plan for the treatment of the entire cemetery site.

The second goal of the course will be comprised on a pilot implementation program where students will gain hands-on experience completing conservation treatments. The students will be supervised by two conservators who have extensive experience in outdoor monument and cemetery conservation (resumes available upon request). In summary, the proposed conservation treatments will include:

  • Cleaning grave markers with D/2 (available from Cathedral Stone), an architectural antimicrobial.
  • Repairing breaks in sandstone and marble markers using a structural epoxy.
  • Repointing cracks and joints in grave markers using a lime-based mortar for marble markers and using a Jahn Patching mortar (available from Cathedral Stone) for repairing sandstone markers.
  • Injection grouting delaminations in sandstone using a grout with water, lime, silica micro-balloons, and a fine silica sand.
  • Resetting markers with proper alignment.

All treatments will conform with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

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