Tales of Time
As I was photographing gravestones, markers and monuments at the Old Grass Valley City Cemetery, a particular one caught my eye. It had on it a surname a gentleman in Nova Scotia was interested in. I photographed the gravestone and sent it via E-Mail. I did so, reluctantly, for a tale of time was written in lichen over the engraving.
It bothered me that I was sending a photograph of a gravestone of someone's ancestor and they would barley be able to read it. When I transcribed it, I was right next to the stone and was trying to follow letters with my fingers.
I have done a bit of reading about the care of gravestones and decided to attempt to get just enough of the lichen off to make this one readable. I took a picture of it, again. My only cleaning tool was, what I refer to as, a popsicle/ice cream stick. These can be purchased in craft stores. Just look for the unique name...craft sticks, or get several tasty ice cream bars from your local grocery store.
Scraping the surface of the gravestone, with the soft wood stick, did a nice job of removing the mature lichen. As I continued, I got a little excited and broke my ice cream stick. That's OK, I had a handful in the car. The rounded end was great for cleaning out the letters and numbers.
The surface of this stone is difficult to read at best because of the black composition and shiny surface. Compound it with the darker lichen and it becomes a mess.
To see the results of the cleaning, click here.