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Granite Gardens restores Civil War graves

ALPENA, Mich. — Drivers on 32 may have noticed some people in the cemetery Saturday morning.

The Granite Gardens team and volunteers from Northland Area Credit Union spent their morning carefully restoring the headstones of Alpena’s Civil War veterans. The group applied skills and techniques they learned from a University of Michigan history professor last month.

Cemetery conservationist Amanda Kuznicki said you need to pick the right tools for the job.

After a good soapy scrub down with a soft brush, they finish off with a special spray that draws out lichen and washes away with weather. Kuznicki said the soft brush is important because steel brushes can seriously damage the stone.

The restoration effort also included the relocation of a headstone caught in one tree’s root system.

Kuznicki said Crow Memorial has free kits with instructions in their office if you want to restore a loved one’s headstone yourself.