Sunday, August 19, 2007

After Care

Well here's an idea for a genealogical type profession. In an article found in the Local section of the Riverside Press Enterprise (Riverside, California), there is a story about a woman who provides after care services. See the story here She will visit any cemetery in the Southern California area and perform such services as cleaning gravestones, placing flowers and taking pictures. Monthly cleaning and placing flowers costs $30.00. This seems like quite the deal to me since she is driving anywhere from San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The gas and flowers along would cost more than that!

This does seem like a great idea for those out of the area. When you can't find a volunteer to take a picture, she could clean, place flowers and take a picture. Although you could probably hire a genealogist to do the same, it may not be as inexpensive considering the mileage and hours it could take to get to some cemeteries.

My only complaint with her service would be that she is using a mixture of acid and water to clean the stone. Cemetery preservation groups tell us that the best way to clean a stone is with water and other gentle methods. Some cleaning tips for stones can be found at the Association for Gravestone Studies at But then again, a cemetery broker is quoted in the same article as recommending a "grill brick" which is like a pumice stone. When cleaning stones, I would just caution that although they are made from "tough" materials, like granite, they are fragile.

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