Spring Stone College Class

April 21, 2015


By Kelly Sowell, Elmwood Historian 

This Saturday, April 25th Elmwood will be offering another Stone College class. We will focus on leveling, repairing and cleaning dirt and biological growth from monuments. Graduates of the class will be invited to join in on scheduled volunteer days. On past volunteer days, we have leveled enclosures and cleaned a number of monuments. In December, we dug up and leveled a marble Victorian bath-tub enclosure belonging to Benjamin Avent. A few days after we leveled this enclosure, a family member came to the Cottage asking where to find Benjamin Avent. I was happy to tell him I knew exactly where he was and that we had recently leveled his monument which had almost completely sunken. He shared Benjamin’s story with me, which you can read about here on the blog.

On another volunteer day last Spring, several volunteers came to clean monuments near the entrance of the cemetery. One of those was a well known monument, Jasper Smith’s lion. The monument was covered in black air pollutants and mold, and there was lichen growing in his mane. The volunteers carefully sprayed and scrubbed him clean with a solution approved for use on historic stones. From the natural reaction of the cleaning solution with the biological growth and dirt, the lion actually took on a slightly golden color, making him look rather realistic. The solution seeps into the pores of the stone and continues to work, so the lion gradually whitened further from exposure to sun and rain.

When you attend Stone College, you will have the opportunity to attend volunteer workshops like these. There is still space available for the upcoming class. It will be held Saturday, April 25 from 9:00 to 11:30. The cost to attend is $25 per person. You should come dressed in comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting dirty. Once you have completed the class, you will receive emails notifying you of the scheduled volunteer days. If you are interested in helping to preserve the monuments that tell the history of Elmwood, you should definitely register for Stone College. Advance registration is required. You can register online or by calling (901)774-3212.

Avent Before
Avent After
Jasper's Lion Before And After Cleaning

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