Solomon Ennis (1818 – 1848) – Find A Grave Memorial — Views of the Grave Marker before and after it was repaired and “polished” with an abrasive treatment

Solomon Ennis (1818 – 1848) – Find A Grave Memorial.


These photos are close up views of the upright marker for Solomon Ennis who died February 13, 1848 and was buried at the Bedford Cemetery in Bedford, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The photograph on the left was taken September 3, 2012 by a “Find A Grave” contributor and prior to any repair or cleaning application.

The photograph on the right was taken on April 12, 2015 during my visit to the Bedford Cemetery.  This photograph shows us the stark contrast to the one taken in 2012.  It shows us what it looks like now after it was repaired and highly polished with a power tool.

This gravestone was repaired, cleaned, and polished sometime in 2013 – 2014.  While the repair work to the cracks appears to have been done in an acceptable manner, however, the unnaturally bright white and shiny highly polished surface finish is indicative of other gravestones in this cemetery that have been known to be polished using a Nyalox Brush on a Power Drill. 

This gravestone had clear deeply carved lettering and a beautifully carved open Bible motif that were all diminished in depth and clarity by the abrasiveness caused by use of one or more Nyalox Brushes rotating at high speeds attached to a portable power drill.

Obviously, using power tools on gravestones is not condoned by nationally recognized professional gravestone organizations and their conservators  such as NCPTT and A.G.S.

Unfortunately, this marker has lost some of the outer ‘skin’ because this aggressive and abrasive method evidently used one or more times over all of its marble surface during the ‘polishing’ process.  

Based on photographs of other gravestones that were taken right after they were subjected to such treatment, that are published online, marble dust can be seen surrounding the gravestone as well as on any plant life near it.

Sadly, often those who use this damaging ‘treatment’ defend and promote it in their business and at workshops they hold as being part of a restoration process; ‘restoring’ the gravestone back to its original condition.  That they are in the business of restoration and not preservation or conservation.

This begs the question, how can a peeling away a layer of stone return it to its original condition?   — And, the fact that they, themselves, were not taught by any nationally known reputable preservation organization’s conservator to engage in this type of ‘polishing’ of gravestones in the first place?