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The Progress, Clearfield, Curwensville, Philipsburg, PA., Mon., Nov. 4, 1957
DAR Speaker Lists Revolutionary War Soldiers' Graves in County

(Editor's Note: The following is the text of a talk given by Mrs. Harold V. Smith of Curwensville before the Susquehanna Chapter of the D.A.R. concerning graves of Revolutionary War soldiers who are buried in Clearfield County.)

Clearfield County was too far from the scene of action, as well as being a wilderness at the time of the Revolutionary War, to have furnished any soldiers to engage in that conflict.  After that was there were a number of veterans who had served from Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland who came to this section to make homes, and their living by simple and crude means.  

The D. A. R. Chapters in the county have located and placed suitable grave markers in the several cemeteries in the vicinities of their Chapter membership. 

(This is the part concerning Centre Cemetery)

Centre Cemetery at the Centre Methodist Church, Lawrence Township, has Hugh Caldwell Jr. and Philip Antes.  The Charles W. Lawhead farm, now one of the farms owned by D. A. Dotts, Clearfield, and located on the road from the "Checkerboard Bridge: to Bailey Settlement, is the place where Hugh Caldwell Jr. lived.  Across the river from this bridge and the Centre Church is where the Antes family lived. 

Letter to the Editor of the Clearfield Progress Newspaper – October 9, 2008

What can be done to maintain small old cemeteries in Clearfield County ?  An example is the Centre Methodist Cemetery just south of Hyde.  Probably half the old graves never had perpetual care paid because it was not required in those years. 

These older graves in the 1800’s and early 1900 were paid by the owners at just a few dollars a year, then the owner died, and descendants moved away.  This left no one to care what happened.  The payments stopped, but the grass still had to be cut.  Fred Gearhart tried to find extended families to buy perpetual care.  Bill Lawhead continues the effort, but neither of them have had much success. 

It costs money to have the grass mowed and edged plus the costs of machinery which is damaged by wires and other items left on the graves.  Glass vases were left on graves which filled with water and froze, then broke and required cleanup.  For anyone interested there is a partial list of burials at Centre at the website: 

http://www.usgwarchives.org/pa/clearfield/cemet.html.  You can go directly to the cemetery site by typing “centrecemetery.com” in your address bar.  This list is about 90% accurate up to the year 1994.  If you have someone buried there and would like to help with the care, please let us know. 

Claire White
Atlanta, GA

Cleaning Tombstones

This article is a compilation of many recommendations I have found on the internet for cleaning tombstones.  (There were some scary things on message boards but also some realistic instructions)  DO NO HARM, be mindful of other families stones as they are their property. 

Brushes (Soft to harder)
Water (Available at top of cemetery)
Cleaning solution (Try water first) (Read the NO list at end)
Bucket or clean pump sprayer
Tracing paper or other paper and chalk or charcoal for souvenir of inscription

It is not always easy to clean a gravestone.  First we must know what kind of stone and may it be too old and soft.  Why do you want to clean?  Is it just so an obscure inscription can be read?  What is best?  You may want to get the provider of the stone to do the cleaning as we do not have the ability.  This is your cemetery also. 

-         Does the stone show signs of chipping, scaling, flaking, or other forms of deterioration – DO NOT CLEAN. 
-         What kind of Stone?  Most are sandstone, slate, marble, limestone, or granite.  With some cemeteries only metal. 
-         Be flexible – you may not be able to get it in the condition you wanted. 
-         Use clean water with every rinse.  Water already used contains particles of what you are trying to remove. 
-         Completely saturate the stone with water.  A pump sprayer works best to not return dirty water.  (water available at top of cemetery)
-         Rinse often to monitor any flaking or scaling. 
-         Scrub in a random orbit motion to avoid streaking and rinse before it dries. 
-         Plastic scrapers, the softer the better, work well.  The plastic wears away fairly quickly.  (Hardware stores sell bags of various sizes)
-         Non ionic detergent is nearly always safe to use on all types of stones.  A small amount must be mixed with much water.  (I do not know where to buy this)
-         Biocide kills the biological growth on stone and masonry.  It has proved to be very safe and effective on historic stonework of all kinds.  It will not only penetrate the surface to reach the root structure but it is the only product which will prohibit future growth.  (I do not know where to buy this)

Some cleaning solutions for different types of stone:

Listed in order from the safest, or least aggressive, to the most aggressive:
Slate: Clean water, non-ionic detergent, biocide solution
Sandstone: Clean water, non-ionic detergent, biocide solution
Marble/ Limestone: Clean water, non-ionic detergent, biocide solution, ammonia and water solution, Calcium hypo-chloride solution Granite: Clean water, non-ionic detergent, biocide solution.
Modern Polished Granite: Clean water, non-ionic solution, biocide solution, Acid based granite cleaning solution, include with links.  It is most common in a dry crystal form and is mixed with water to form a solution.  Its strength may be varied based on the amount of crystals added.  Please be very careful, as eye protection and rubber gloves should be worn.  Also it may kill grass or plantings in the area round the stone being cleaned.

Shaving Cream
Chalk to enhance engraving
Harsh chemicals
Very hard brushes
Metal brushes
Remember: No artificial flowers, metal, glass or ceramic.  Small delicate flowers are best which do not obscure the inscription. 

You Can
1.  Lay a piece of tracing paper or other paper over the engraving and rub a piece of chalk or charcoal over the paper to have a memory of your visit.  This is used at the Viet Nam memorial in DC. 
2. Take a picture.  Get at an angle where the sun does not reflect off the surface.  Take more than one and see which one turns out best.  (These can be sent to http://www.usgwarchives.org  mailing list for Clearfield County where more of your relatives can see the pictures and it is free).  Send me the picture and, if you wish, we will put it on the usgwararchives.org site.  This is a fairly new site without advertising and free of Ancestry.com restrictions.  You can enter your own obits, history, pictures, cemetery listings, etc. 

Very good site with lots of info (I have a copy if site is no longer available)


Centre Cemetery Association
Po Box 322 - Hyde, Pa. 16843
Lawrence Township - Clearfield County

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