Sweet Auburn: The Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn Connecting the Present with the Past | Page 22

DID YOU KNOW? By Gus Fraser Vice President of Preservation & Facilities I n the early years of the Cemetery’s history, lot proprietors were responsible for arranging for annual care of monuments, fences, and tombs constructed on their lots. As time progressed and lot owners became less active participants in this care, the Cemetery sought ways to ensure that the structures in its landscape would receive a basic level of care in order to preserve them for future generations. By the mid-1800’s, the Cemetery was entering into Perpetual Care contracts with lot proprietors that would fund a basic level of care for their monuments, usually including washing on a periodic basis, repointing joints between stones, and resetting the monument if it should settle out of plumb. Roughly one third of the nearly 50,000 monuments, tombs, mausolea, curbing, and fences on our grounds are covered by perpetual care contracts of one form or another. The obligation to maintain these structures is an essential part of the Cemetery’s mission, and is often a determining factor when prioritizing preservation work. Our preservation team works hard to meet these obligations while also ensuring that the grounds are free of potential hazards, and protecting the great diversity of the Cemetery’s collection of monuments and funerary art that define our historic landscape. IN ONE YEAR OF PRESERVATION SERVICES 110 monuments repaired and reset by staff and contractors 2 historic cast-iron fences repaired and repainted 42 mausolea swept twice a year 29 mausolea doors waxed 2 significant monuments conserved 3,426 monuments washed 20