Cemetery Workshop Series Continues, with Support of Local Volunteers

Preservation Maryland’s 2022 Cemetery Preservation Workshops have begun! This series of workshops, which is generously funded through a grant from Rural Maryland Council and support from Preservation Maryland’s 2021 Save a Grave Campaign, introduces workshop participants to the basics of cemetery preservation, including cleaning the site, maintaining landscaping, and cleaning markers.

Zola Barnes, Cemetery Workshop Coordinator for The Campaign for Historic Trades, cleans a headstone in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Frederick, MD.

Workshops are hosted by The Campaign for Historic Trades, a program of Preservation Maryland, and will take place in each of Maryland’s rural counties. Workshops are free and open to all.  We are looking forward to connecting with Marylanders across the state and are particularly eager to introduce Maryland’s next generation of preservationists and historians to cemetery preservation and other opportunities related to the historic trades in future workshops.

Jonathan Appell, of Atlas Preservation, assists a volunteer resetting a headstone as Moss Rudley, Superintendent of NPS HPTC, looks on.

The Campaign’s first workshop took place on April 30th at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Downtown Frederick, MD.  This workshop was unique in that it was led by Jon Appell, an expert in gravestone and monument conservation, and Moss Rudley, the Superintendent of the NPS’s Historic Preservation Training Center. Jon is also the owner of Atlas Preservation, the supplier of all grave marker cleaning materials for PresMD’s 2022 workshops. At the workshop we were joined by 14 participants, including members of the Friends of Mount Olivet community group. Eighteen grave markers were cleaned during the workshop, and in the latter part of the day, Jon and Moss introduced participants to the more advanced gravestone restoration technique of resetting stones.

Jordan Riggs, AmeriCorps VISTA member with The Campaign for Historic Trades, cleans a headstone in Mt. Zion Church Cemetery, Princess Anne, MD.

The second workshop was on May 26th at Mount Zion Memorial Church Cemetery in Princess Anne (Somerset County). We partnered with Retta Jones and Annette Cottman of the Mount Zion Historical Society. Mount Zion Memorial church was built in 1887, by members of the African American community along Polks Road and in the greater Princess Anne area. The church held services until 2002, and since then has served as a community hall and gathering space. At the beginning of our workshop, Retta Jones spoke about the history of Mount Zion Memorial Church and community. The 17 workshop participants were then instructed about cemetery preservation by Benjamin Curran of The Campaign for Historic Trades.  Participants went on to clean 20 grave markers throughout the workshop, including all veteran graves in the cemetery.

Annette Cottman, of the Mt. Zion Historical Society,
works to clean and repair a damaged headstone in Mt. Zion Church Cemetery, Princess Anne, MD.

We are looking forward to our future workshops, and hope to meet many more volunteers across Maryland! New workshops will open for registration as they are scheduled. Click the button below to register for open workshops or sign up to receive email updates about upcoming dates and locations.