For several days in October, cleaning continued in the graveyard.
Jan Primas is cleaning the headstone of Christina Davis' grave. Jan is using a product called D2. It is a non-ionic and antimicrobial solution. While there is an accumulation of windblown dirt, most of the discoloration on a stone is mildew with moss and lichens on older, previously uncleaned stones. D2 is nonabrasive and kills the growing mildew, which is a collection of fungi. The solution is sprayed on and left for two minutes, scrubbed lightly with a nonmetallic brush, and then rinsed with water.
Christina's grave has been recovered with river shell. This was an Upland South tradition of grave decoration. Many graves in McCortney graveyard show evidence of this tradition. Large mussel shells are generally nonexistent along the banks of the Big Piney River now. The mussel population has virtually disappeared in the river.
The last major phase of the restoration is headstone repair. Click here.