Introduction to Cemeteries, Materials and Care
Tuesday, September 27 - Wednesday, September 28, 2016
For many people, cemeteries are sacred sites, locations that not only provide spiritual comfort for both the living and the deceased, but also help communities maintain connections with their collective cultural history. Over time, however, many small cemeteries fall into disrepair and decay, as loved ones move on and communities grow. For its part, New York State is home to thousands of neglected or abandoned cemeteries, many of which are technically the responsibility of their surrounding communities.
Over the past decade or so, many individuals in these same communities have come to recognize the value of abandoned cemeteries, and their important role in honoring the deceased and preserving local history. What they lack, however, are the tools -- legal, instructional and physical -- to help them in their efforts to restore these important places.
Tuesday, Sept 27th:
Our program will begin on Tuesday, with a presentation by David Fleming, a sought-after consultant in cemetery regulation, operations and abandonment with the Albany, New York firm of Featherstonhaugh, Wiley & Clyne, LLP. David will open our program with an overview of town cemetery management, and the legal responsibilities and obstacles that communities face when they attempt to preserve or restore abandoned local cemeteries.
Following David's talk, Dennis Montagna will introduce workshop participants to the key elements of preservation planning, materials used in cemetery settings, the varied ways and extent to which these materials fail in outdoor exposure over time, available treatment options, and programs of long-term care. Dennis is Director of the Monument Research & Preservation Program of the U.S. National Park Service.
After lunch, we'll reconvene to examine some of the practical aspects of gravestone preservation and restoration. Reed Antis of the Town of Moreau, NY, will discuss his journey into the world of lost and abandoned cemeteries, focusing on the steps he has taken to locate forgotten cemeteries and rescue them from disappearance and disrepair by using proper preservation techniques. Mr. Antis has rallied his local government and volunteers to assist in his efforts to restore dignity to these places of remembrance, and will provide some insight and advice about how to engage community resources to assist in the process of cemetery restoration.
Joe Ferrannini, founder of Gravestone Matters will discuss the process of proper gravestone restoration, including the most current tools and techniques used in gravestone maintenance today.
Wednesday, Sept 28th:
Participants will join our hands-on restoration technique workshop being held at a local cemetery.
Before restoration [left ] is a headstone disappearing into cemetery soil. Date of death June 18, 1854
After restoration [right] is the same headstone being restored with meticulous care. RIP Caroline E Hamilton
Participants traveling from out of the area can call Sagamore for lodging options on either Monday, Tuesday and/or Wednesday nights.
Cost: (accommodations include lodging in double-occupancy, shared-bath room in historic lodge, plus all meals -- limited singles are available for an extra $20/night): 1) 2-day Program and 3-night (Mon/Tue/Wed) accommodations: $299/double or $359/single 2) 2-day Program and 2-night (Mon/Tue or Tue/Wed) accommodations: $259/double or $299/single 3) 2-Day Program and Tuesday accommodations: $189/double or $209/single 4) 2-Day Program activities only, including lunch each day: $99/person
Other accommodation options (hotels/B&Bs/campgrounds) may be available nearby. Inquire with registrar about options.
Register today by calling Sagamore's Registrar at (315) 354-5311 ext 1021. We look forward to welcoming you to Great Camp Sagamore.