Stevens Cemetery MemorialsStevens Cemetery MemorialsStevens Cemetery Memorials
Stevens Cemetery Memorials

Thomas A. Stevens
Cemetery Restorations

“Serving the State of Maine”

There are literally thousands of old cemeteries across the state of Maine. Many of which are a meticulous remembrance of our ancestors, while others are neglected and in dire need of repair. Some of these historic landmarks date back as far as 250 years and range from small family plots to larger cemeteries established by associations. When these monuments were erected hundreds of years ago, they were intended as an eternal tribute to loved ones.

Over the centuries, as generations passed on and ancestors lost touch, it became more difficult to maintain these cemeteries. In addition, cemetery associations became smaller due to budget cuts and some were taken over by the town. Others were left without care completely.

In recent years the state passed a law that mandated all veterans’ memorials be maintained. If family members or associations are unable to do so, then it becomes the responsibility of the town. We owe it to our veterans, and to all of our deceased ancestors, to respectfully maintain these important symbols of their lives.

​​Thomas A. Stevens Cemetery Restorations is often hired, upon the request of town citizens, to restore these neglected cemeteries; all of which once again become proud reflections of their community. We encourage you to visit the old cemeteries in your community and advocate to your town officials, if you feel they are in need of attention.

Before & After

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Cemeteries Require Care, People, Money

Maine Municipal Association's Maine Townsman - June

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By Janine Pineo
From the June issue of Maine Municipal Association’s Maine Townsman

Time is not kind to cemeteries. Coupled with the inexorable march of Maine’s four seasons, the ravages of time often are visible in some of the thousands of burial grounds across the state, which was first colonized in the early 1600s.

The coast and other land accessible by water bore the mark of early settlers who cleared forests into fields and farmland centuries ago, often situating a family cemetery plot somewhere on the property. As settlements, towns and cities were established over the decades, larger cemeteries were set up by municipalities and associations.

From an individual buried in a single plot to acres of land marked with thousands of gravesites, the care of those cemeteries today often falls into the hands of the municipality where it is located, creating a challenge to find a balance between the needs of the living and the responsibility to respect those who are buried within the town’s borders.

Maintaining a cemetery is part of the cost, but reclaiming grounds that have fallen under the advance of time and nature can create a tax burden, as many municipalities have learned when they take over a cemetery… Read Full Article




Outline of Procedures

Resetting & repair
Whenever possible, all monuments will be reset in the way that they were originally installed. Nowadays a monument is set on a concrete foundation that is four feet deep so the frost won’t move it. Most of the monuments that need to be reset don’t have foundations.

Slate tablets were usually set with 1/3 or more of the monument buried below ground. Over the years the frost lifts them out of the ground and causes them to lean. These monuments are set back into the ground to their proper depth and the fill that is put back around them is compacted.

Marble tablets were set either the same way as the slate tablets, or they were set into a granite or sandstone base just below the ground surface. This base has a slot cut into it that the marble tablets were set into. If the tablet is leaning, and is still intact in the base, we dig out on the side of the tablet that it is leaning towards. We then lift that side of the monument and shim it with enough flat stone to make it straight again.

If the tablet is loose in the base, we reset it back into the base in mortar after leveling and pressure washing it.

If the tablet is broken off at the base we either epoxy it back together or set it into a form that is roughly the same dimensions as the original base, and then fill it with concrete. If the base is split in half we would also set it into a new concrete base.

Marble and granite monuments with one or more bases that are leaning are straightened the same way as the marble tablets with bases. Most of these monuments originally had 2 iron pins that held them together. Over the years they rusted, and at the same time they expand which causes the marble monuments and or bases to split apart. When this occurs we epoxy them back together and fill the cracks or voids with white cement. Before any epoxying or filling with white cement occurs, the surfaces are pressure washed.

If a monument is broken, and enough of the pieces can be found, it is pressure washed and then pieced back together with epoxy. All cracks and voids are then filled with white cement to help prevent further deterioration.

If the lower half of a monument has deteriorated beyond repair I reset it so that as much of the original inscription as possible will remain.

Cleaning will be accomplished with the use of a pressure washer that generates 2500 p.s.i. at the nozzle tip. Only enough pressure required to remove the accumulated growth will be used. Marble monuments will be pressure washed and then have bleach applied to remove the stains caused by the fungus growth. Granite monuments will have a mild acid solution applied prior to pressure washing to aid in the removal of the fungus and to etch the unpolished surfaces. Slate monuments are cleaned the same way as the granite monuments. This method will remove the growth but it will discolor the slate. I am willing to discuss the options available.

Is your town on the list?

All of the communities on the list below have shown pride in their community by having their cemeteries restored to their original dignity.

Belmont, Pat Higgins Boothbay, Bradford, Carlene Oake
Bradley, Melissa Doane Bremen, Anne Seifert Brewer, Ken Hanscom
Brooks, Jane McLaughlin Brunswick, Pamela Fogg Buxton, Richard Atkinson
Caratunk, Neil Katz Chelsea, Robert Drisko Clinton, Earl Pratt
Crystal, Susan L. York Cumberland, William Shane Cushing, Chester Knowles
Damariscotta, Patti Whitten Durham, Joseph Donovick Dixfield, Charlotte Collins
Eddington, Pam Violette Edgecomb, Donald Hutchins Ellsworth, Timothy King
Exeter, Robert Wetzler Fayette, Louise Simmons Friendship, Sally Foster
Georgetown, Pam Kakalis Greene, Stephen Eldridge Harpswell, Christy Eiane
Harrison, Michael Thorne Hartland, Wayne Libby Hermon, Clinton Deschene
Holden, Larry Varisco Howland, Glenna Armour Island Falls, Cheryl McNally
Islesboro, Kathy Stoker Leeds, Joyce Pratt Lincoln, Ron Weatherbee
Lincolnville, Heather Bilodeau Manchester, Arlene Lebel Mattawamkeag,
Mechanic Falls, Roland Hemond Minot, Constance Taker Newcastle, Edmee Dejean
Newport, John Buckland Nobleboro, George Dow North Haven, Hist. Soc.
Northport, Barbara O’Leary Norway, David Holt Orland, Goodwin Ames
Orr’s Island, John Sylvester Otisfield, Marianne Izzo-Morin Owl’s Head, Nancy Colson
Paris, Sharon Jackson Poland, Rose Aikman Plymouth, Shirley Nelson
Prospect, Vera Dyer Readfield, Gregory Gill Richmond, Jay Robbins
Rome, Mike Proctor Scarborough, Mike Shaw Searsmont, Don Corcoran
Sebago, “Rosie” Kulow Sedgwick, Judy Herrick Sherman, Debra O’Roak
Sidney, Gloria, Ripley Silver Ridge, Paul Bernier Skowhegan, Randall Gray
Solon, Mary Lou Ridley South Bristol, Ken Lincoln So. Thomaston, Charles Hartman
Stockton Springs, Joseph Hayes Sullivan, Harris McLean Sumner, Cynthia Norton
Turner, Eva Leavitt Union, Myrna Soule Waltham, Diann Jordan
Washington, Donald Grinnell West Bath, Elaine Lemont West Paris, Bill Keich
Wiscasset, Woody Freeman

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