Restoring More Than Monuments

What comes to mind when you think of the most beautiful and peaceful spaces in Rush County? East Hill Cemetery surely tops your list. It’s a place for grieving, yes, but it’s also a place for remembering and celebrating loved ones. The hallowed grounds are home to some amazing old trees. It holds the key to our past. It honors the final resting place for those that called our community “home”.


It’s not just a local treasure, but a national one as well. In 2014 East Hill Cemetery was accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places, alongside such diverse and treasured spots as the Statue of Liberty and the Woodstock Music Festival site.


The monuments are unique works of art. Just like ancient sculptures, the constant exposure to weather takes a toll. As tributes to those that have passed, they deserve our respect and care, but the large sizes and advanced age of several stones present big challenges to preservation.


When the staff of East Hill Cemetery submitted a proposal for a cleaning project of some of the historic headstones to be performed by a team of experts, RCCF funded the request through unrestricted gifts made by you. Twenty-eight monuments were cleaned and restored. The transformation was stunning.


The impact didn’t end with this project. The staff and board of East Hill organized a training and service day for interested community members. They shared expertise on the proper materials and delicate processes with the hope that restoration efforts would continue beyond that day. Volunteers gathered on September 7 armed with knowledge, scrub brushes and a lot of enthusiasm.


The difference they made for the selected military monuments is incredible! The headstones gleam again, paying deep respect to our heroes.


RCCF’s own Angie Bane and her husband, David, were among the volunteers. In fact, David was able to clean his own grandfather’s monument, such a touching tribute to his family. Angie and David were eager to learn these skills so they could apply them to other family members’ monuments. The pride they share in their work shines through their smiles when sharing the before and after photos you see below. Your support not only helped restore the stones themselves but honor and dignity for the departed, too.


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