On July 14, the Fayette County Genealogical Society met at 10 a.m. at the Bloomingburg Cemetery for a demonstration of resetting old tombstones and a lesson on how to repair and clean old tombstones by Mike Ferguson.
Mike had all his equipment, tools and supplies on hand for his demonstration. Mike showed Society members how he digs up a leaning or sunken tombstone and resets it with stones or in its slotted base, and then secures it again with packed dirt. Mike stated the biggest mistake people make repairing old tombstones is resetting them into a cement base. The old tombstone can be broken off easily when reset in this manner.
The top section sometimes needs to be reset “reattached” to the base of a tombstone. This is done with a special adhesive and at times rust proofed bars are added to help keep the tombstone together. This same method of adhesive and bars is used to put together broken tombstones. When an old tombstone is broken in two or more pieces, it could take some time to put it back together. It may need to be taken from the ground and be reset depending on how badly it is damaged. Mike also gave a lesson on the best methods to clean old tombstones and what products and tools to use. Mike received training in tombstone restoration in Greenfield at The Old Burying Ground.
Mike Ferguson maintains the Hidy and Vesey cemeteries, but repairs, resets and cleans tombstones in Hidy, Vesey, and Bloomingburg cemeteries. Tom Butcher maintains the Bloomingburg cemetery.
Later that same day, July 14 at 1 p.m., the Society gathered at the home of Glenn and Phyllis Rankin for the annual picnic. The main meat courses were provided along with drinks with members bringing side dishes. After the picnic lunch, members spent the afternoon visiting and discussing family genealogy and history.
Ron Salmons from Jackson County, a noted southern Ohio historian, will be the presenter at the next meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society. The battle of Berlin Crossing occurred on the land Ron’s family now owns in Jackson County when Morgan’s Raiders came through Jackson County during the Civil War.
Ron will be sharing the story of this battle along with artifacts found on the property. Come join the Society at the next meeting Monday, Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. in the meeting room of the Carnegie Public Library, 127 S. North St. in Washington Court House for this interesting program. Please enter the library through the door on the Catholic Church side of the building.
If you want any additional information concerning this upcoming meeting, society membership, or society information, contact Cathy Massie White 740-333-7227 or ReunionMassie@yahoo.com.