by Leslie Alwiel
This year has been challenging for all of us and we have all had to get used to doing business in new ways. Even in these difficult times the Bonaventure Historical Society continues to support conservation efforts at the cemetery.
The cemetery is open from 8 am to 5 pm daily. The visitor’s center remains open by appointment only for cemetery business. There are visitor maps available in the brochure boxes on the office door. The new public restroom is complete, and all parking and roadways are now open.
As you probably know, we suspended our free monthly tours in the spring and are hoping to resume soon once we can best accommodate groups and our guides safely. One of our largest tour events of the year, the annual Tour of Homes was also cancelled for this year.
Our garden committee has been able to continue to care for areas such as the Walz Garden in the cemetery, albeit in a limited capacity. Most of our preservation efforts since the virus took hold have been spent trying to find owners for plots that have monuments in need of restoration and finding just the right “bronze waxer” to restore the Anderson Bust.
While use of bronze accents on monuments is not unusual, the bronze bust of General Anderson is the only one of its kind in Bonaventure Cemetery. Keeping a bronze bust in good order takes much more effort than a bottle of Brasso and elbow grease.
Our two main ways of raising funds, manning the Visitor’s Center on the weekends and our monthly free tours have been on hold since mid-March. We have been able to raise funds through the sale of our tour app. We owe each one of you who have downloaded the tour much thanks. These sales have enabled us to continue our conservation efforts and plan for future efforts.