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Residents and Historians Learn to Preserve, Clean & Repair Historic Gravestones

 July 11, 2018
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Rebecca Cheng, Vicki DiStefano and Matt Leonenko | (516) 869-7794

Residents and Historians Learn to Preserve, Clean & Repair Historic Gravestones

North Hempstead, NY – Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and the Town Board recently partnered with the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission to hold a workshop on historic gravestone preservation on Saturday, July 7 at the Monfort Cemetery in Port Washington. The workshop was led by Jonathan Appell, a prominent gravestone conservator and is funded by the Town of North Hempstead and Howard and Roz Kroplick. Kroplick is the Town’s Historian.

There were 32 participants including historians, members of historical societies and preservation groups, several relatives of the earliest settlers of North Hempstead and the media.

“This gravestone preservation seminar was very informative and was enjoyed by historians and neighbors alike. Jonathan Appell truly led a fantastic workshop teaching us all the proper techniques in conversation of these gravestones,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “North Hempstead is full of such rich history and it is so crucial to preserve that history for generations to come.”

“This was a wonderful gravestone preservation and our conservation expert Jonathan Appell did an outstanding job leading the workshop and teaching cleaning, restoration and preservation techniques,” said Town Historian Kroplick. “In the initial phase of the restoration of the historic Monfort Cemetery, over 50 headstones were cleaned and one leaning monument was reattached to its original marble base, stabilized and repaired.”

Participants learned how to preserve, clean and repair gravestones. At the workshop over 60 of the 154 headstones were cleaned and preserved using D/2 Biological Solution and water. A monument of Andrew Hegeman (1811-1885) was completely restored and attached to its original marble base which was buried one-foot underground. The restoration process took over one hour. It is now the tallest monument in the cemetery.

The Monfort Cemetery is located on a hill adjacent to a walkway between the St. John Place entrance to Paul Schreiber High School and the Port Washington Post Office (1051 Port Washington Boulevard).

(From left to right: Pam Monfort (related to family that donated the cemetery to the Town in 1984), Seth Smith (related to the Hegeman family), Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town Historian Howard Kroplick, Vera Allen and Nancy Allen (related to the Allen family, the original settlers of Great Neck and owners of the Saddle Rock Grist Mill).

Jonathan Appell leading the gravestone preservation seminar

Jonathan Appell leading the gravestone preservation seminar


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