Cemeteries are unique locations marked by the history of those who have been buried there. Weather and vandalism slowly erode away this important piece of history from the community. As a result erosion, the history of war generals, local governors and United States officials buried in these cemeteries also disappear. Several companies offer restoration grants to help digitize cemetery records, perform cemetery mapping and perform restoration and preservation of grave markers and cemetery monuments.
The Association for Gravestone Studies is an organization that works to inform the public of the cultural and historical importance of graveyards and the gravestones within. AGS is a nonprofit organization that accepts donations and supplies informative literature on burial grounds and their significance. They also hold events through their local chapters to help spread awareness.
Chicora is an organization that works with museums, historians and libraries to digitize cemetery records and preserve locations. The group provides funding for restoration efforts along the east coast. Chicora works to preserve the integrity of monuments, cemetery markers and iron works without the use of cosmetic alterations. Using sonogram machines and old historical records, the company also helps identify and record unmarked graves. Mapping of the cemetery is another part of the restoration efforts. Chicora members will research an area where they are completing cemetery preservation and offer workshops and lectures to the local community with the information. Government grants as well as private donations fund Chicora's cemetery restoration and preservation efforts. Communities can apply to the company to have their cemetery chosen as one of the Chicora cemetery restoration projects. If chosen, Chicora will fund all necessary parts of the restoration process that is within their financial capacity.
Chicora PO Box 8664 Columbia, South Carolina 29202 803-787- 6910 chicora.org
Another company funded by government grants for cemetery restoration is Gravestone Preservation. The program offers training courses and lectures about techniques, equipment and databases used in cemetery restoration. The program provides funding for equipment and transportation needed to complete restoration efforts in the southern United States. The ultimate goal of Gravestone Preservation is to digitize cemetery records and help restore and preserve the history that resides within these learning centers. The company will also offer tours and information sessions to the local communities about their restoration efforts and the history of the cemetery.
Gravestone Preservation 27 Miles Standish Drive West Hartford, Connecticut 06107 860-558- 2785 gravestonepreservation.info