Boxwood Cemetery hosting workshop on repairing gravestones

Photos contributed: The photo at left shows the broken and deteriorated headstone of David Card, the first person to be buried in Boxwood Cemetery in 1849. It will be repaired by historical preservationist Kurt Riegel of Sidney during a workshop on June 19 in the cemetery. The photo at right shows dozens of broken and deteriorated gravestones are in this section of Boxwood Cemetery.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 May 2021 at 9:11 am

MEDINA – The mammoth task of repairing and resetting dozens of broken and deteriorating gravestones in Boxwood Cemetery is being undertaken this summer by Friends of Boxwood Cemetery.

Because Boxwood Cemetery is now under the control of the village of Medina, its maintenance is funded through the municipal budget, making the task of tree maintenance and headstone repair overwhelming, according to Jake Hebdon, a member of the Friends of Boxwood Cemetery. The village is prohibited by law to fundraise, therefore, the Friends of Boxwood have stepped up to raise money for cleaning, repairing and restoring old headstones.

Kurt Riegel, a historic preservationist who specializes in gravestone restoration, plies his trade on a broken headstone. He will lead a workshop on gravestone restoration at 10 a.m. June 19 in Boxwood Cemetery.

At 10 a.m. on June 19, the Friends of Boxwood Cemetery will host a workshop on headstone cleaning and resetting, led by Kurt Riegel of Riegel Restoration in Sidney, a historic preservationist specializing in gravestone restoration and historical window restoration.

He will give a hands-on workshop and discussion of the dos and don’ts of cleaning, maintenance and resetting of historical headstones which have fallen into disrepair. Having performed restoration work across the northeastern United States, Riegel brings a wealth of preservation knowledge, Hebdon said.

The workshop is open to anyone in the community who is interested. Admission will be $10, payable on arrival. Any additional donations are greatly appreciated and will go towards headstone repair in the cemetery. No reservation is required to attend the workshop.

Attendees are asked to bring a clean bucket, a soft plastic brush, a lawn chair and lunch, if desired. The stone cleaning tutorial will start at 10 a.m. and the stone resetting will follow. People are welcome to attend one or both workshops, which will total three to four hours. In the event of bad weather, a rain date of June 26 at 10 a.m. has been set.

Aside from the workshop, the Friends of Boxwood Cemetery are thrilled to announce they have received a grant from the Medina Sandstone Society to restore the headstone of David Card, the very first person to be buried in Boxwood Cemetery in 1849. Riegel will be completing that restoration throughout the summer.

Again, the Friends of Boxwood welcome donations by community members to help with these efforts and ask that donations be mailed to Friends of Boxwood, in care of Village of Medina Clerk’s Office, 119 Park Ave., Medina. More information is available on the Friends of Boxwood Cemetery Facebook page.