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Maple Leaf and St Anthony's Before Preservation

Looking at photos of tipped and fallen monuments may stimulate the artistic flare in some of us but for those of us interested in saving that history for a little while longer before it descends under ground for ever those photos can be very discouraging. Add to that the fact that taking photos of the grass that the stone is buried under is indeed pretty much a futile and useless exercise in frustration. However, it is also easy to look at restoration/preservation photos and get the wrong idea. You might think that we had no problems in our cemetery like you have in yours. That our cemetery had few tipped stones. No buried ones. Few broken ones. etc. So, it is imperative that we show at least a few photos of what we were up against when we began. And still are. Possibly even more than ever.

This area will be expanded in the very near future

You will see these photos included in our Gallery. They are simply linked here as are most other photos on site.

Photo shown above shows a close up of one newly preserved stone Note the area across the road in the background. That was probably in the worst condition of any areas of the cemetery. Look closely at the foreground to see the tipped stones, broken stones, and stones simply laying out flat on the ground. Some were nearly covered with sods but have been uncovered in an attempt to keep them from getting lost before we can get to them to do our work.

Vandalism can be so terribly frustrating! You will see their work here. During the winter they did one huge swath of stones, causing huge damage. Probably the terrible condition of other stones just encourages those who might never think of doing vandolism to mock such and do even more damage. Note the stones gradually tipping in the background.So easy to fix if they were the only ones.

More stones needing straightening. Note the digging in the background. Those are places where we have found stones either covered or nearly covered and we are attempting to keep them in a condition that we do not lose them before getting them to raise them. Lack of help is such a severe problem.

Three stones gradually tipping more and more until they will finally tip right over, quite probably being destroyed. Note the spire in the background tipped over by vandals. And note the white broken stone right against the tree. Those stones may be extremely important to the history of the cemetery. These stones were both monuments to the same person and may be very close relations to the person who the land was purchased from before the cemetery was opened in 1871. (The stones are older than that purchase. Could the burials have been moved here? Or maybe the stones only were? Or was this a Tobin Family plot that was simply "worked into" the cemetery design. We will scan it to find if there are burials there. But otherwise we will likely NEVER know the whole story of how they got here.

More tipped and broken stones. Note the broken cross in the foreground. And you will see a flat stone in the background gradually sinking under ground.

Broken stones. Tipped stones. And flat stones gradually being swallowed up by the ground are everywhere. As we all know it is hard to see it happening when we have no chance to get to them for years. But all we can do is to do our best to save as many as possible for future generations to see. Even many stones not more than a few years old can be found sinking under ground.

A badly tipped stone. Monuments such as this are so often broken by the huge equipment of mowing and burial crews before we can get to them or they simply break due to the huge leverage pressure on the stone itself or it's base.

There is not one stone in this photograph, over as far as the road at least, that is not in dire need of preservation work to make sure they remain for other generations to see and read!

Just a few years and all of this history would be underground. Possibly for ever! But with just a little work they can be saved for another hundred years.

A single stone so easy to save for others to see. If only we could get to it!

Old M. L. Ward F is in desperate need of some restoration, due to stones being broken and vandalized & also from natural causes. Stone on right tipped from the roots of a tree growing up under the base, causing the whole stone to tip and topple.
Photo: Trish Nigh

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