MD-CEMETERIES-L ArchivesArchiver > MD-CEMETERIES > 2003-12 > 1072492290
Subject: Re: [MD-CEM] RE: Damaged cemetery PHOTOS
Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 21:31:30 EST
I know that under Maryland State law property owners cannot remove
tombstones. However, just because it is the law does not mean that the owner that
destroyed these tombstones will not remove them. There are laws in Maryland
protecting cemeteries and they totally disregarded those laws. Call me cynical but if
they destroy a family cemetery I don't think it is beyond them to hide the
evidence. I would rather err on the side of caution then put my trust in someone
who blatantly destroyed a family cemetery. In addition, the owners can
barely, speak English so they may not be aware of our laws. That is by no means a
statement of prejudice, I am not. It is just a statement of fact.
I am very well aware that tombstone rubbings are discouraged and that is not
my preferred method. I don't do rubbings, never have. I don't even do
rubbings of a stone in excellent condition. However this is extenuating
circumstances. The reason for doing rubbings on these particular tombstones is that the
tombstones are so badly broken and cannot be restored. I think that Lynn would
agree that the only way to preserve the inscription on the tombstone is to do a
rubbing of the badly damaged stones to try to piece the inscription together
in order to use the information on another tombstone if reparations are made.
Incidentally, my personal preferred method of getting a transcription of a
tombstone which is difficult to read is to use a squirt bottle of water and
spritz the stone then take a photo. The lettering turns out much better on a photo
of a tombstone with this method. The inscription is much easier to read when
the stone is wet.
Better yet, let nature do the job. Go to the cemetery after a light rain when
the stones are still damp. I have found through lots of experience that this
method is best for reading those hard to read dates or inscriptions. :-)
In a message dated 12/26/2003 6:15:05 PM Eastern Standard Time,
Under Maryland law the property owners cannot remove
the tombstones, go check the Coalition to Protect MD's
Burial Sites, under applicable laws. All sorts of
permissions, etc., must be secured before moving any
tombstones ... including descendants/family members.
Also from looking at the condition of the headstones,
I'd say you probably should not make rubbings.
Tombstone rubbings are discouraged by the Association
for Gravestone Studies unless the tombstone is in
excellcent condition. It is very easy to harm a stone
by a rubbing.
Also check their suggestions for the correct method(s)
of cleaning and restoring damaged tombstones.