Source: The Independent

New Rules For Southampton Cemeteries

by Emily Toy

July 17, 2013

No more Frisbee. No more Halloween walks. Even no more grave rubbing.

Southampton Town’s cemeteries will be getting stricter preservation methods in an attempt to protect the historic grounds.

The town expects to clean up the designation for its cemeteries and historic burial grounds, which currently lists final resting places in the same town code as parks, recreation space, and ballfields.

The new legislation was introduced last week and is expected to be considered at an upcoming town board meeting.

“I look at these sites as outdoor museums,” said town historian Zach Studenroth.

He added the cemeteries had been included in the village’s code section to “basically keep the grass mowed.” Studenroth also noted the need to prevent any human contact, something he deemed damaging for carved stone artifacts that have been exposed to the elements for centuries.

Between 8 PM and 6 AM, people would be prohibited from being on the grounds. The proposed legislation would create that stipulation as well as a completely new section in the town code for town-owned historic burial grounds and abandoned cemeteries.

“This is part of momentum that’s been happening for a few years now to really protect our historic resources,” said Councilwoman Bridget Fleming.

Monument Conservator Jonathan Appell will lead two workshops for local residents interested in the preservation, restoration and care of the town’s historic burying grounds on Friday and Saturday. Everything from cleaning methods and resetting tilted headstones to reattaching fragments of headstones already fallen off will be discussed at the workshops.

“Gravestone conservation and historic stone preservation is the art and science of preserving all we can of our heritage carved in stone,” Appell said.

The workshops are being offered by Southampton Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer. Friday’s workshop will be at the North Sea Burial Ground, with Saturday’s session at the East Quogue Methodist Cemetery. Both start at 9 AM, are free and open to the public. Reservations are required. Call 631-287-5740 or email studenroth@southamptontownny.gov.

Emily@indyeastend.com