Monday, May 23, 2011


Tolomato volunteer and preservationist Matt Armstrong attended the NCPTT workshop on historic ironwork held last week in Savannah.  He came back full of ideas and ready to tackle some of our serious ironwork problems at Tolomato.  The workshop was taught by the tireless Jason Church, who boldly tackles all sorts of projects and gives his students and volunteers the confidence to do likewise – but carefully and with a foundation of knowledge.

Here Matt points out the difference between wrought iron and cast iron on one of the grave enclosures.

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Matt will put together a presentation for the volunteers and perhaps this summer we can attempt some repairs or at least preservation work. Even rust removal and painting will help, although there is also a lot of missing ironwork that must be replaced. 

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In the above photo, we see how a tree has “swallowed” part of an enclosure and is now dragging over the fence and its supporting posts as it grows.  Matt suggested isolating the section by cutting the fence at that point so that the pressure of the growing tree will not drag the rest of the fence and its supports out of the ground. 

Matt said that the weirdest thing he learned was that squirrels like to eat lead…but I always knew there was something weird about squirrels anyway.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Open to Visitors–on a hot Florida day

This blog has languished a bit because I have been been busy moving to another location in St Augustine, but we all rallied and turned out at the cemetery to welcome visitors on our usual 3rd Saturday opening.

Below, Nick McAuliffe, watched by Bishop Verot, leads a group of fascinated visitors through the cemetery.


This is also a good time to remind readers that, for those who can’t visit the cemetery regularly, we have other sources of information available.  Louise Kennedy has just added her PowerPoint presentation on the Freedmen (Frank Papy and Hector Adams) ( to our archives , and earlier this month, I added a presentation on some of our recent preservation work as well as our Member Newsletter (

Many thanks to Tom Caswell, our Research Committee chair and a librarian at the University of Florida, for maintaining this valuable archive.  Now folks have got to start using it! 

And remember, we are always looking for information to add to it.