Cemetery Restoration Workshop

Clay County Cemetery Restoration Workshop
2016 Center Point Cemetery Workshop Participants
2016 Center Point Cemetery Workshop Participants

The September 10th Center Point Cemetery Restoration Workshop was made possible through a Historic Preservation Education Grant from Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The workshop was a success due to the volunteers, participants, speakers, Boy Scouts, community members, and businesses that donated items or gave the society discounts on their merchandise.

On September 3rd, the Saturday prior to the workshop, a group of Boy Scouts from Troops 101 and 95 worked in the historic section of the Center Point Cemetery cleaning up around the stones in preparation for the workshop.  The workers pruned trees, removed yucca plants, and filled a large dumpster with limbs, weeds, vines, and other plant materials. They also cleaned along the north edge of the cemetery making it possible to mow around the stones that were near the edge of the woods.

On the day of the workshop the guest speaker, Jeannie REGAN-DINIUS of the Indiana Department of National Resources, explained the Indiana codes relating to county cemeteries, responsibilities of local officials, and how to obtain permits to probe for stones covered with soil.  She also gave a presentation about SHAARD, the Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database of the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA), which allows users to search information on known historic resources throughout Indiana.  SHAARD includes data concerning the Indiana Cemetery and Burial Ground Registry, historic bridges, properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, properties listed in the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures, and historic theaters in Indiana.  To learn more about SHAARD, go to     http://www.in.gov/dnr/historic/4505.htm

During the workshop instructors Wayne LANGMAN and Jeff DICKERSON discussed their handout, which included information about tools and products to use for cleaning, resetting, and repairing damaged and broken stones.  The handout gave step-by-step information and included helpful photographs.  After the morning classroom instruction and lunch, the group planned on going to the historic section of the Center Point Cemetery for hands-on work cleaning, resetting, and repairing broken stones.

However, the morning rain continued into the afternoon; therefore, Wayne and Jeff improvised by bringing in a broken stone, which was repaired “on site.”   They demonstrated the proper method for mixing the epoxy and showed techniques for holding the pieces together while the epoxy dried.   Boy Scouts handed out spray bottles, goggles, and small brushes to be used by the participants when cleaning cemetery stones.

Since the afternoon session was rained out, a make-up workday was held on October 8th.   Even though only a few of those in attendance at the workshop were able to return for the make-up workshop, many leaning stones were re-positioned, a few stones were reattached to their bases, one stone was repaired and reset, and one stone was recovered from a prone position in the grass, cleaned, and reset on its base.  Boy Scouts helped deliver rock and dirt in the wheelbarrow to those resetting stones.  They  and their parents also cleaned several stones and hauled away debris.

As a result of the workshop, the appearance of the historic section of the Center Point Cemetery   is much improved.   Vines, weeds, yucca plants, and other debris were removed from around the stones.  Several leaning stones are now standing perpendicular, and some stones have been repaired and reset on existing or new bases.

To download a copy of the “Cleaning & Restoration of Gravestones” pamphlet created for the workshop, click the link below, and a copy will be sent to your Downloads folder.

Cemetery Restoration Pamphlet

Photos from the Project

New Book at the Library

Clay County Postal History

The Clay County Postal History is among the  many books recently donated to the library.  This colorful 97-page book gives the locations, dates of operation, postmasters, and much more about each of the  Clay County post offices. It also includes location maps, historical information,  and pictures of postmarks.

In 1861 the hand stamp for Center Point was Centre Point; in 1890 the hand stamp was Centerpoint.   Offically, the town’s name is spelled Center Point, and the post office name is spelled Centerpoint.
Some post offices changed names and locations over the years.  The Alexander Post Office in northern Clay County was established in February of 1872 shortly after the town of Alexander was laid out.  It was in operation until March of 1879, when its name was changed to Cardona.  Listed below are former and present Clay County post offices with their opening dates:

Alexander — 1872                         Alum Cave — 1884
Anquilla — 1851                             Art — 1873
Ashboro — 1886                            Ashborough — 1858
Ashersville — 1873                      Asherville — 1897
Belle Air — 1852                            Benwood — 1881
Birch Creek — 1854                     Bowling Green — 1825
Brazil — 1844                                  Calcutta — 1870
Campbell– 1897                           Carbon — 1870
Cardonia — 1879                         Centerpoint — 1893
Centre Point — 1855                 Cherryvale — 1899
Christy’s Prairie — 1836          Clay City — 1875
Cloverland — 1850                      Coalmont — 1901
Coffee — 1849                                Connely — 1892
Cory — 1872                                    Daviston — 1840
Eaglesfield — 1866                       Easter — 1896
Eel River — 1821                            Farm — 1856
Harmony — 1840                          Hookers — 1839
Hoosierville — 1858                    Huntersville — 1875
Hurricane — 1866                         Knightsville — 1870
Lena — 1871                                      Martz — 1854
McKinley’s Store — 1837          Perth — 1880
Peyton Creek — 1840                  Plunge Creek — 1849
Poland — 1846                                 Prairie — 1895
Prairie City — 1888                       Pratt — 1871
Saline City — 1872                         Sherman — 1864
Staunton — 1853                            Stearleyville — 1893
Turner — 1870                                  Van Buren — 1835

Clay County Indiana