Texas Gravestone Conservation
Texas Gravestone Conservation



As of April 10, 2021, I am not taking on any more jobs.  I have fallen behind on the ones I have already under contract and need to get caught up. If I have already spoken with you about a job, I would include that in my current list. I am still able to schedule one day workshops and give advice remotely if needed.  I will remove this notice when I get caught up.


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


TGC is located in Brenham, TX and will serve clients who are 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.  TGC will conserve a single gravestone or an entire cemetery; contact me with any questions and look at the different pages for more information.


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

A Recent Inquiry...


A lady called me last year asking if I knew of any cemetery caretaker jobs that were available.  I told her that every cemetery that I have worked in was either city-maintained, or was maintained by contract with a landscape/mowing company.  After we hung up, I wondered if there were any rural churches (with adjacent cemeteries (and empty parsonages) that might trade "lodging for upkeep of the cemetery".  Moreover, if one church had an empty house and a cemetery in need of upkeep, and there were other churches in the county/area that were of the same denomination that needed their cemeteries tended, they might all benefit.  


If anyone has any experience with such an arrangement, let me know. 


And on another front...

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...


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.  

David Lasch was the youngest of four children born to Louis and Susie Lasch.  His mother died in 1900, and in the 1910 census, David was living with his grandparents.  One sister had a child, who died in 1997 (without an heir) and the other two did not have any children.  His father died in October of 1929.  Sadly, David Lasch was killed in France only about a month before the end of World War I.


Cost to clean: $40



The marker, cleaned with D/2, on March 22, 2017.


If you compare the 'before' and 'after' images, you'll see that the light streak extending downward from the photo is still visible; over time, the areas on both sides will lighten to the same shade.




Again, thanks to those who contributed! 



             Adopt-A-Stone #2

The stone of August and Katherine Neumann who died in their 30's and had two unmarried children who died in their early 20's, probably not long after purchasing this monument.  

            Reset and cleaned with D/2.



    View of stone nine weeks after cleaning.



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.














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 is $110, which is the cost for a finished block identical in size to the original one and transport from the quarry to Brenham.  I am not charging anything for my time to carve the socket, mortar in the stone and repair the footstone.


$110 was collected and the base has been tooled; only the socket remains to be carved.



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.

Another small base, this one without bevels and without tooling down the sides.


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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