- Create a clean, beautiful, safe, and accessible cemetery
- Create an updated survey and register of existing plots
- Obtain National Historic Preservation Designation
- Inclusion in Athens-Clarke Tour Guide
- Community pride and support in East Athens
- Continued neighborhood revitalization
- Jobs for community residents
- Secure continued revenue streams for perpetual care
Maintenance & Repair of Burial Plots:
- Every element of a grave is significant. No element should be removed.
- Grass and brush should be trimmed by hand whenever possible to prevent damage to fragile gravestones. The use of power mowers and weed trimmers near graves is not recommended.
- Avoid using pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Acidic chemicals can deteriorate limestone, sandstone, and marble, while alkaline chemicals can deteriorate granite.
- Vegetation that keeps stones and walls damp or is causing damage should be cut back or removed.
- Gravestones and monuments should not be relocated or rearranged except in exceptional circumstances.
- Re-inscription of gravestones or monuments is strongly discouraged.
- Damaged gravestones and monuments should be repaired rather than replaced. Only qualified conservators or masonry artists should repair historic markers. It is encouraged that the maintenance and preservation staff of the cemetery receive this training.
- If a monument needs to be reset, as in cases were the monument is leaning or fallen, this should be undertaken by qualified personnel.
- If stone or brick needs repointing, new mortar should duplicate the historic mortar in color, texture, and strength. In most cases a mortar with a high Portland cement content will damage historic bricks or stone.
- Stone fragments are important and should be saved. It is acceptable to re-bury a documented stone fragment where it was found if a safe and dry storage area is not available.
- Use the gentlest means possible when cleaning gravestones and monuments. Avoid acidic cleaning solutions or solutions containing chlorine bleach.
- Polishing, pressure washing, or sandblasting gravestones and monuments is strongly discouraged.
- If graffiti is found on monuments, copings, retaining walls, etc., it will need to be cleaned. Either remove sensitively or leave the paint in place.
Survey & Documentation:
It is vitally important that the cemetery’s existing conditions are documented before any preservation work begins.
- An initial survey should be conducted systematically by section A through S.
- Each grave space should be photographed and documented.
- Existing conditions of the hardscape (marker, coping, fencing) and landscape should be listed, as well as any necessary repairs.
- Family contact information should also be collected at this time and included on each form. Please use archival quality paper for the forms.
- All survey forms should be duplicated and stored in archival boxes. Original forms should be kept on site and stored in fireproof boxes at least six inches off of the ground. Duplicate records should be given to a publicly-accessible organization, such as a historical society or the local library. Therefore, records are more likely to be kept safe from disaster and be available to the public for research.
- Any burials, repairs, or landscaping completed by family, the organization, or volunteers should be noted on the survey form.
- The survey should be updated at least every ten years.
- Obituaries and burial permits for those buried at Gospel Pilgrim Cemetery should be collected and kept together at both the cemetery or its organization’s office, with duplicates at the selected public institution. Again, storage in archival boxes is suggested.