In March 2011 SJGR started a clean up project in a cemetery located in Trenton NJ. During the 1st week end we made a lot of progress and we are set to return a few more times before Summer. This project was initiated by one of our investigators who is also a NJ State Trooper who was based in Trenton for a while, Vinnie Mancuso. In June 2012, members of SJGR attended the Association for Gravestone Studies Conference held in Monmouth NJ and learned more about gravestone restoration and preservation techniques. Here, SJGR is applying this knowledge to clean and restore the headstones at the Mercer Co.Historic Cemetery.

Two SJGR members at the
Assoc. for Gravestone Studies Conference at the New Era Shipwreck
monument in West Long Branch United Methodist Cemetery, June 2012.

SJGR at the Assoc. for Gravestone Studies Conference, during the
gravestone restoration class.

Here, Mandy demonstrates the correct method of flag placing on a veteran’s grave, with black flag pole.
Before the
clean-up photo of the Mercer County Historic Cemetery, which is overgrown and the headstones are stained and weathered.

Some of the
beautiful and peaceful Mercer County Historic Cemetery during the
clean-up efforts.

Here is a closer
look at two headstones before restoration. The writing is faint and
difficult to read because of all the dirt caked into the engraving.

Here are the same
two headstones after they have been cleaned by volunteers from SJGR.
The writing is easier to read and the stone is overall much cleaner.

Here is another
photo of the same two stones, with the sun in a different position, the
difference in the stone can truly be appreciated.

Bill is in the process of repairing a fallen monument.  He inserts a new pin into the base.

In this photo, Bill inserts the top portion of the monument onto the new pin.   

Finally, He adjusts the top portion of the monument into the correct position.

SJGR Investigator
Liz Apostolico hand scrubs a headstone with distilled water and a
little elbow grease.

In this photo, Bridget and Liz startthe process of cleaning a pair of headstones.   

Bridget uses a low-power washer as Investigator Liz Apostolico hand scrubs the stone.

The finished stones, cleaned of dirt, moss, and mildew.  Mandy demonstrates the mirror technique, designed to be able to read stones more clearly.


More Clean Up Photos from this Cemetery