Donations will help keep Glenwood Cemetery’s headstones straight
The Park City Museum seeks donations that will be set in stone — headstones.
The local historical nonprofit is collecting money to help stabilize the more than 600 historic monuments in the Glenwood Cemetery, says executive director Sandra Morrison.
“Some of these headstones have been here since the cemetery opened in 1885,” Morrison said. “And all of them need attention.”
The stabilization project began last summer when the Utah Division of State History reached out to the museum and planned a headstone restoration workshop in the Glenwood, according to Morrison.
“They wanted to spend two days in a cemetery and provide hands-on opportunities,” she said.
More than 40 people attended the workshop, and while many were from Utah, one was James “Rusty” Brenner, owner of Texas Cemetery Restoration, which is based in Crockett, Texas, 142 miles north of Houston, according to Morrison.
At the same time, the museum had secured a $10,000 grant from the Utah Division of State History that would help fund headstone stabilization, Morrison said.
“The stipulation was we had to get work done last year, so we got talking to Rusty and asked him about his schedule,” she said.
Brenner and his crew returned to Park City in October and spent three weeks working on the cemetery’s biggest monuments, according to Morrison.
“Rob Slettom and Identity Properties hosted the crew in one of the Three Kings Condominiums, and while they were here, they were able to stabilize six of the headstones,” she said.
During his work, Brenner discovered the bases of the larger monuments were buried as much as two feet into the ground, Morrison said.
“We didn’t know if it was because they sank in the ground slower over the past 100 years or so, or if it was something else,” she said.
Crews used a crane to pull apart the large monuments, lift them out of the ground and clear out some of the rubble, Morrison said.
“Then they laid some gravel to stabilize and level the ground, before securing the monuments onto their bases,” she said. “They also used historic materials when they put the monuments back together, and patched up the ones that were broken. ”
To add money to the grant, the Park City Museum started a fundraising campaign where donors could sponsor a headstone for $250, Morrison said.
“Many local residents stepped up,and we also got some large donations from the Joann Tolboe Krajeski Foundation and from Richard and Nancy Marriott,” she said. “The donations matched the initial grand more than twice over.”
With the extra funds intact, Morrison invited Brenner back to do more restoration.
“The soonest he could come was the end of June,” she said.
In the meanwhile, Museum volunteers began honoring donors by placing temporary markers next to Glenwood Cemetery headstones that will be stabilized, according to Morrison.
“We will put up markers all summer,” she said. “You can sponsor as many headstones as you would like.”
The Glenwood Cemetery, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was awarded the Cindy Matsumoto Historic Preservation Award in 2018 by the Park City Historic Preservation Board.
The cemetery was established as an alternative burial ground for members of various fraternal organizations that couldn’t afford plots in the Park City Cemetery, Morrison said.
“Since the snow has melted, the cemetery is looking beautiful, and the mountain bluebell flowers are all blooming,” she said. “It’s a lovely place to stroll through and it’s an easy place to social distance.”
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