Texas Gravestone Conservation
Texas Gravestone Conservation

 NOTICE

 

As of June 16, 2022, Texas Gravestone Conservation is no longer accepting any new work. If you have hired me to do conservation of gravestones, rest assured that they will be completed and the work done in the same manner in which I have done all of my work. For those who may need conservation work done, I refer you to James Brenner with Texas Cemetery Restoration out of Dallas/Crockett.

 

Texas Gravestone Conservation performed conservation (repair) services for gravestones and other cemetery stonework.  Whether they’re called “gravestones”, “tombstones”, or “monuments”, Texas Gravestone Conservation could repair, conserve, and preserve them.  TGC performed cleaning, leveling/resetting, repair to broken and fallen markers, and other cemetery related services, including repairs from storm damage and vandalism.  I also served as an assessor for vandalism and accident damages in legal cases involving cemetery markers.

 

TGC is located in Brenham, TX and served clients who were mainly in a 160-mile radius of Washington County, including Houston, Galveston, El Campo, Victoira, Goliad, Seguin, New Braunfels, Austin, Georgetown, Temple,  College Station, and Livingston.

 

Also, I am the sole proprietor of TGC, certificated by the International Preservation Studies Center in Mount Carroll, IL, and I do all of the work myself. 

Contact Information

Lowell Herzog
P. O. Box 1266
Brenham, TX  77834-1266

Phone: 979-836-7715 (leave a message if I'm not there)

              979-347-0534 (mobile)

e-mail: herzogtamu89@gmail.com

I am still seeing stones like this being placed into wet concrete.  Why?  No state historical commissions in the nation recommend such practices and almost all list it as something NOT to do.  However, many County Historical Commissions (CHC's) allow such destructive actions to go on.  It can only be through ignorance, or the belief that 'nothing else can be done' that gravestones are set upon the path of destruction.  There are other ways of preserving them, if only someone would care enough to ask...

                  Adopt-A-Stone

Would you like to help ensure that a gravestone in need of conservation receives it?  I select stones for which I can find no living descendants and that are in need of work.  The cost of the work reflects my discounting labor costs.  

             Adopt-A-Stone #2

Thank you to the four individuals who donated to re-set and clean this stone!  I am especially thankful for the couple who sent the last donation for $175 to complete the funding. 

                   Adopt-A-Stone #3

While walking the grounds of the Masonic Cemetery in Brenham, this tablet stone was found partially buried with the inscription facing upward.  I checked The Cemetery Records of Washington County book and it was not in the inventory made in 1969.  I also probed around the stone about 30 feet in all directions searching for its base, but found none.

 

While using the Portal to Texas digitized newspapers, I searched, using the name on the stone, and came up with this interesting bit in the December 11, 1884 Brenham newspaper:

 

The child was rumored to be ill and died the same day; however, the paper did not have any more information on what happened.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    UNTIL...

This article was found in the Brenham paper of February 25, 1893--some nine years later!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The only other clue as to this family is that the father does appear in an 1883 city directory of Topeka, KS; he is listed as an 'entertainer'.  His wife's name was not listed, and I can find no census records for them (which is not surprising since they seemed to be rather "footloose" in nature.

 

 

Fortunately, in August (and after the cemetery was mowed closely, the footstone and the broken socket base were located.  They were about 75 feet from where the stone was found, and I suppose that the stone may have been moved when the cemetery was cleaned about twenty years ago.

 

 

 

The amount to conserve this child's stone was $110, which was the cost for a finished block identical in size to the original one and transport from the quarry to Brenham.  I did not charge anything for my time to carve the socket, mortar in the stone and repair the footstone.

 

The limestone block is marked and scribed for bevels and areas of tooling, as well as the location for the socket.

After the bevels are cut by grinding off most of the material with a flat, diamond wheel, they are finished with a 3" wide chisel.  Here, the tooling on the bevel (done with a batting chisel custom made by Bybee Stone Tools) is complete.

The tooling completed on this side, and the panel awaiting bush hammering as a texture. The small void in the top edge is a natural inclusion in the white Texas limestone; Lueders or Indiana limestones are less likely to have such features.

The finished base with only the socket to be carved.  The time to do this was about 12 hours total, so a replacement/duplicate base is not inexpensive.  However, if the client wants the entire stone to be as historically accurate as possible, this is                                                       the only way. The tooling was not done to the                                                                    bottom as this will be in the ground and not seen.

The tablet mortared in.

The R. C. Miller die and shrouded urn at South Belton Cemetery in Belton, TX was reset in December.  The stone weighs about 1000lbs and the urn another 80lbs.

 

The base had tilted and the stone and urn fell many years ago; luckily, neither were damaged very much.

 

The monument will be cleaned in March or April of 2022.

 

If you have a question about a gravestone, send me an e-mail with good, high resolution photos and I can advise you.

 

If you'd like more information, contact me at (979) 347-0534 (mobile), 

(979) 836-7715 (home), herzogtamu89@gmail.com

or browse my website.

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