Gravestone Cleaning

“Cemeteries, with their irreplaceable headstones, are an important part of the cultural heritage of every area. Cemeteries contribute to our local and regional heritage, and should be respected and treated as carefully as any other historic artifact.” – Michigan Historic Cemetery Preservation Guide

Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer, is quickly approaching. First observed in the late 1860’s following the Civil War which claimed more lives than any other conflict in U.S. history. It was originally known as Decoration Day due to the custom of visiting cemeteries or memorials and leaving flowers, flags, or tokens of remembrance. Leelanau County is graced with many scenic cemeteries filled with history-makers. Will you be honoring your ancestors or loved ones this Memorial Day by visiting their grave?

Check out our new video detailing how to properly clean historic gravestones (linked at the bottom of the page). Instruction provided by Ron Kelderhouse a native of Leelanau County. Ron is passionate about cemetery rehabilitation and gravestone care. He studied under nationally renowned conservator, Jonathan Appell, and has led workshops for LHS, Bingham Township, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Ron Kelderhouse completes repairs to a gravestone at East Leland Cemetery.

“Remember to never use metal tools & brushes, power washers, or household cleaning agents to clean gravestones!”