The Ottumwa Courier

Wapello County

April 24, 2013

Iowa's Pioneer cemeteries getting some much-needed help

(Continued)

One of the tedious parts of cemetery restoration is working with headstones, Dickey says. Only certain products can be used so there is no additional damage to the stones. Learning which ones are safe is imperative before tackling a project, she said, and added that those who have been doing this for a while can share what works and what doesn’t.

The stone restoration itself is more complicated and more labor intensive. Again, most epoxies are not recommended because they change colors and do more harm than good. Some people have put headstone pieces in concrete or mortar, which is a huge problem, Dickey said.

“If that stone gets hit by a lawn mower, it will snap off right where the stone meats the mortar,” she said. “And some people have used metal or bolts to put them back together, but that just promotes rust.”

Dickey has written three books on area pioneer cemeteries, including two on the community of Buxton. What began with a love of family has turned into a passion for history.

“I started out doing my own family research, and now I do it for other people, too,” she said. “I’m very family-oriented, and I like history and the research involved.”

She is now working in the old part of Eddyville Cemetery, which has about 900 burials in that section alone. She’s already worked on 200 broken stones, many of which are made of sandstone, the most difficult type to repair. Shifting sand caused many of the headstones to sink straight down into the ground, where they can be damaged or covered with grass over time.

One of the most interesting parts of the restoration work Dickey is doing has been witching for graves. While some people don’t believe that it really works, Dickey says she has had great success with it.

Text Only
Wapello County
  • 0617 OTT Wapello Co Fair color photo -L -M Come one, come all to the Wapello County Fair

    ELDON — The Wapello County Fair is just around the corner, kicking off with entries being welcomed at Wapello Hall and the Iowa Agricultural Hall from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday. On Thursday, entries for competition will be received from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Siegel, Rubel face off in forum OTTUMWA — For Steve Siegel, a political campaign is nothing new. For Tom Rubel, being the candidate is a first. Now they want the same job. Siegel and Rubel are seeking the Democratic nomination for SD 41, the Iowa Senate district which includes Ottu

    May 29, 2014

  • 0530 OTT Oak tatters picture color Oak leaves left in tatters

    OTTUMWA — Trees throughout Iowa have been terrorized by the likes of Emerald Ash Borer and other dangers in the past months and now oak trees throughout Iowa are in a little bit of more trouble because of a disease called oak tatters. Thankfully, tho

    May 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Help fight hunger OTTUMWA — The groups began with a question: How to better help Wapello County residents who don't have enough decent food. Next week, they'll decide if they've found any answers. The food security project, Growing Wapello Together, had small groups m

    May 28, 2014

  • Attempted murder trial set for July KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren County man accused of attempted murder could head to trial in a remarkably short time. Dimitrious Royal has a trial date of July 15. If that date is when the trial actually begins, it would take place just more than 11 weeks

    May 28, 2014

  • Agency aces assessment OTTUMWA — A local agency had a lot riding on the outcome of an independent review. They nailed it. "The credential we just received was to show we are a quality [organization]," said Bryan Dunn, executive director of Sieda Community Action. "It's som

    May 27, 2014

  • County backs bike rides OTTUMWA — Bike rides in Wapello County just received a personal push of goodwill from Wapello County Board of Supervisors. Tuesday, supervisors signed a resolution of support for three area bike rides to be conducted in June. The rides include the H

    May 27, 2014

  • 0527 OTT EMS week color photo -L -M ORHC celebrates EMS Week OTTUMWA — During National EMS week, May 18-24, Ottumwa Regional Health Center (ORHC) celebrated its staff, the community EMS providers and the importance of being prepared in emergency situations through education. The ambulance service at ORHC, also

    May 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Moving into the future OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisor Greg Kenning joked after the board approved upgrading the county’s servers Tuesday. “You can put away your quills.” Jokes asides, Wapello County will now have more opportunity to maximize its server resources. The

    May 20, 2014

  • 0520 OTT mushroom provided -T -M Hidden treasure

    OTTUMWA — Yes, it's kind of like winning the lottery. A mushroom hunter and her family cheerfully acknowledged that feeling after stopping by the Ottumwa Courier on Monday. In one lucky search, they'd found hundreds of morels totaling 10 pounds. As u

    May 19, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National