From the austere 17th century colonial burying ground to the grand rural cemetery, and the sobering military cemetery, historic cemeteries grace local country roads, townships and urban centers, providing a wealth of historic, artistic and spiritual benefits. Not only do the objects range greatly in age, style and materials, the types of objects can range from small single slab headstones, to large ornate monuments and chapels; other items may include boundary posts, iron fences, and walls. All are endangered by physical damage, chemical decay, loss and, most unfortunately, senseless vandalism. But the cemetery doesn’t simply include the recognizable funerary objects in stone and metal, but also includes the shrubs, trees, roads and other elements of the landscape.
These diverse, shared treasures require a wide range of preservation expertise that may include advice from local archivists, historians, landscape architects, conservators and maintenance professionals. The development of a comprehensive preservation plan is highly encouraged for these unique, complex sites. With insightful planning and implementation of informed preservation efforts, these threatened landmarks can be preserved for future generations.