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Friends of Grove Hill are reviving old friends

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In a sign of true friendship, the Friends of Grove Hill Cemetery turned out to wipe, scrub, polish and preserve the historic site.

By Todd Martin

A little water, biodegradable cleaning solution and elbow grease can go a long way.

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And by looking at the success of the Friends of Grove Hill Cemetery's first Restoration and Preservation Workshop, the 150-year-old cemetery is in for a big lift.

On June 24, the group had Ann Johnson with the Kentucky Historical Society give a morning workshop and used that information, along with the proper tools provided by Johnson, in a restoration project at the cemetery.

The method Johnson provided was easy, and the only addition needed was a good scrub by the participants.

"She taught us to scrub tenderly first, because some of the monuments are old and can crumble," said Duanne Puckett.

The checklist:

  • Spray with water.
  • Scrub gently.
  • Apply cleaning agent from the bottom up to avoid runs.
  • Scrub again, using a toothbrush to get inside the small crevices.

As Puckett worked on the Mary Howell marker with Gay Guthrie and Debbie Harrod, she said the transformation was remarkable.

"We could start to see all the writing on the stone, and I said, 'Oh, look, its Mary Howell.' Like she was really standing there," Puckett said.

The project also benefited from the work of Whitie Gray, Charles Long and Mike Harrod, who refitted some of the stones, making sure they were now straight. Don Bentley of Bentley Monument Company donated the use of the lift, and his time, to raise the monuments so the ground underneath could be prepared.