Easter travels have prevented me from staying up to date here, but now that I’m back, I wanted to post a few more photos from our last Preservation Work Day.
In addition to our foray into masonry, we did a lot of headstone and vault cleaning. We had bought a lifetime supply of D2 from Cathedral Stone Products (thank you, Cathedral Stone, for your fast, helpful service!) and we were ready to use it!
We had some “old” volunteers, and Matt Armstrong directed them and showed the newbies how to clean markers. Below, you see them preparing to clean a ledger stone.
Our big project was the vault of Fr. Miguel O’Reilly, the first pastor of the Cathedral. He died and was buried at Tolomato in 1812, but the current ledger stone on his vault was placed in the 1870s by “some of the old parishioners,” who remembered his hard work, intelligence and zeal. We think that the original 1812 top, which wasn’t really a stone but looked more like a stuccoed peaked roof, was possibly destroyed by a falling tree or collapsed from its own weight and needed restoration around that time.
In the last few years, the stone had gotten very dark and was almost illegible, as you can see above. But our careful cleaning – which will look even better after the sun has bleached the lichen stains – has revealed it again.