Wednesday, May 2, 2012

S T O N E S   U N T U R N E D


At STONES UNTURNED we help to keep your ancestors alive by bringing back to life a tangible part of their legacy, and your memory of them. In many cases only a headstone, gravestone, or tombstone is the only memorial to the existence they had on this earth. Aren’t we all afraid that the day will come when we will be forgotten? Are we not afraid that one day there will be absolutely no sign that we even existed? It’s a frightening thought and no doubt our ancestors had those same thoughts. As I walk the cemeteries and old burying grounds, I see so many forgotten graves. Some were taken care of 100 years ago, but now those caretakers are gone forever too, and the stones have fallen into disrepair and are no longer legible.

We do not repair, or resurrect broken headstones but merely do our best to make them recognizable again, legible if possible. Due to years of neglect we cannot bring these headstones back to their original state. Most are extremely heavy and have cracked and fallen off their bases. These will remain that way but they can still be cleaned up, improved, and with this preventative maintenance we can slow down the effects of UV rays and other erosives. (headstones will fall over naturally as water gets into the base, freezes, expands, then cracks the base, causing this foundation to break, and over the years the headstone topples over.) Let us improve on what there is left to work with, before its too late.

We remove decades of accumulation of moss, lichens, mould, dust, dirt, bird droppings, etc. These accumulations will do permanent damage if they have not done so already. Then we give the stone a soft buff and shine. Minor gardening is the last thing we do. We trim whatever bushes might already have been planted, rake away the dead leaves, cut out the dead undergrowth, and cleanup any weather beaten fake flowers, garbage, and dirty, busted vases. We can replace these deteriorated items with new decorations for a small additional fee.

Headstones usually give us a wealth of information especially to the family genealogist. Aside from death or birth dates a headstone can explain certain relationships, how a person died, their place of birth, and the clubs or fraternities they belonged to. Sometimes more. To demonstrate, the Harvey headstones in Laidley Cemetery, Tay Valley Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada say:


And on a stone close by:
APRIL 22, 1884

The above transcriptions were written down 40 years ago. But today they are practically illegible. These two stones are on the list to be cleaned up.

We work seven days a week between sun-up and sun-down and during holidays as well – so don’t be shy to contact us. Contact info below.

What we need from you:
• Name of the cemetery or burial ground
• Name of the deceased
• Other supporting information about the deceased, usually year of death. This helps to distinguish between common names like Peter Campbell where their could be a dozen people of the same name buried there.
• Your contact information. Name, email address, mailing address, and phone number.

OUR FEES: Minimum charge is $25.00. The minimum charge is for a one-sided headstone or footstone that takes one hour to clean. We charge $15.00 for each additional hour The average cleaning takes about two hours so you are looking at $40.00. This includes gas and supplies.

• Footstone $25.00
• One-sided headstone $25.00 + $15.00 for each additional hour
• Two-sided headstone $50.00 + $15.00 for each additional hour
• Three-sided headstone $75.00 + 15.00 for each additional hour
• Four sided headstone $100.00 + 15.00 for each additional hour
(four sided headstones can list numerous headstones therefor the graves of several ancestors are cleaned at the same time, not to mention the wealth of information you will find on this size of stone)

Contact Info:
If you have decided to have your family headstone cleaned by Stones Unturned, please contact
 Karen Prytula:

By Email: You will receive a response within 48 hours.
By Phone: 613-325-1354 This is a cell phone. Please be prepared to leave a message, as we are usually on the road or on the job when the phone rings. We will return your call as soon as we can.

Other services: Many people researching their ancestry would like a photo of the gravesite only, having never seen it before due to distance. For that we charge $20. This figure is derived at mostly because of the price of gasoline.  The photo will be sent to you via email, and if you don’t have email it will be mailed to you if you are in Canada, on a glossy paper. 

If you would like decorations placed at the gravesite call to discuss. Phone number above.

Stones Unturned thanks you for your interest and looks forward to helping you preserve your past for your future generations.

P.S. My apologies for any goofs in this blog, I had a hard time creating it, and it still does not look the way I wanted it to.