The crew spent four and a half days working at the Hillside cemetery in Carlton, MN. Hillside Cemetery was established in 1881 and is situated on the outskirts of the Carlton, MN city limits on County Road 3. In the oldest sections of the cemetery, dating back to the turn of the last century, the lack of casket liners or vaults has resulted in settling above the graves. In addition, the cemetery’s hilly terrain, has undergone natural changes, leading to the disappearance of gravestones in areas.
In recent years, the City of Carlton paid a contractor to re-set a few of the larger, up-right gravestones and build retaining walls to prevent loss of grave markers in areas experiencing natural weathering and erosion.
The gravestones had been minimally maintained, requiring stone cleaning, gravestone resetting and straightening, and vegetation removal. The primary objectives of the project were to provide for the cemetery’s longevity by removing sod and vegetation growing over the gravestones, resetting stones that had completely or partially settled into the earth, and filling areas of depressed ground to allow for ease of public access and maintenance of the grounds.
During the practice portion of the cemetery training, preservation services were provided at Hillside Cemetery. The crew worked on eight gravestones of varying size and shape, located in the oldest sections of the cemetery. Five of the gravestones were cleaned according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, one of the cleaned stones was also reset. The corps re-set three additional stones during training that were not additionally cleaned.
The crew cleared sod and edged a total of 297 gravestones, cleaned 11 gravestones, re-set 27 head stones, and filled and seeded 4,150 square feet of earth.