Cleaning Iconic Stones – Wow. What a Difference!

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Peter Ellison - Restoration at Mount Hope Cemetery

We currently have stone cleaning going on in two locations.  The first is at the gravesite of Lillian Wald, where all of her five family stones are being cleaned by Peter Ellison of Ellison Conservators.  Using a D2 solution, this process takes several weeks and demands time, patience, and lots of water.  The process will mark the end of our work on these stones; last year they were all repaired.  Lillian Wald’s gravesite is one of the most visited at Mount Hope, and is featured in many of our tours.

In Section I there is a back area totally gone wild.  Hidden in this area is one of the most beloved sites at Mount Hope, the Fish Monument, erected in 1861.  For those of you that like to explore these wilderness areas, it is the stone of a little boy embracing his dog.  This statue sits near the gravestone of Henry Fish Jr., the infant son of Henry L. and Lucinda Fish, who died at the age of four months. His father Henry L Fish started the Rochester Transportation Company, which built and operated hundreds of canal boats on the Erie Canal. Later he served as mayor of Rochester in the 1860s. Visitors have left many pebbles, coins, and tokens on this memorial over the years.

This stone is being meticulously cleaned by Monica Dragert, an apprentice working with Bill Yager.  Monica has brought this stone back to its original glory.  Because of this major improvement, our landscape committee is focusing on restoring this neglected area.  Let’s see what changes our volunteers can bring to this section.