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Cemetery restoration workshop comes to Natchez Wednesday

NATCHEZ — The 48 States in 48 Days Gravestone Restoration Tour is kicking off its 2021 Southern Tour by coming to Natchez next week. 

For the past 20 years, Johnathan Appell, a nationally known conservator from Connecticut, has collaborated with numerous groups and organizations to preserve gravestones and monuments throughout the country.

As the title of the tour infers, Appell’s mission is to provide free cemetery workshops in 48 different states in 48 days. Appell’s trip is sponsored by Atlas Preservation, which sells many of the products Appell uses for conservation and restoration.

Appell will be leading the workshop at the Natchez City Cemetery from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14.

Historic Natchez Foundation Director Carter Burns said the foundation and Natchez City Cemetery are proud to host Appell and this event in which he teaches anyone in the public who is interested in preservation about his process.

The workshop will include a discussion about the historic preservation of masonry, gravestones and cemeteries as well as a short tour and visual survey of the cemetery, cleaning demonstrations, and hands-on application of the cleaning process.

Cleaning supplies will be provided at the workshop. However, participants are asked to bring their own cleaning gloves and a folding chair.

The workshop was previously set to take place in September 2020 but was canceled due to the COVID-19, Burns said.

For more information about the workshop, contact the Historic Natchez Foundation at 601-442-2500. The event will be dependent on the weather.

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