On June 15, Camp 22 members met at the Old City Cemetery in Sacramento to clean headstones of Civil War veterans. The task of the day was to clean the marble grave markers in the G.A.R. plot of the cemetery. the graves are arranged around a tall monument featuring a 6 foot tall bronze statue of a Union soldier. The monument was installed and dedicated in September 1889, after several years of fund-raising. The oldest graves in the plot were located here from their original site (the New Helvetia cemetery) in 1867.
The clean-up was done with the approval of the cemetery Preservationist, who also gave a hands-on tutorial to the clean-up crew. A special cleaning solution (approved for use by the National Parks Service) was used on the marble markers. As you can see in one of the “before” photos, some of the stones were in dire need of cleaning. In fact, it is very likely the stones have never been cleaned since they were installed – some have been accumulating algae, lichens and dirt for up to 148 years!
The main goal of the day was to clean as many of the 75 markers as possible, before mid-day heat made work too difficult. The crew went at it like troopers, though, and before the day ended, all the marble markers were cleaned!
There are several other plots and many individual graves of Civil War veterans in the Old City Cemetery, and there are some granite markers that need cleaning, too, so the Camp 22 clean-up crew will be back on the job in the near future.
Here are more photos from our clean-up day: