The Maine Old Cemetery Association's (MOCA's) mission is to encourage and support the preservation, maintenance, and study of old cemeteries and related records. We hope that the answers to these Frequently Asked Questions provide some of the support you seek as you pursue these goals.
Here's a response recently provided by member, Cheryl Willis Patten:MOCA does not "take on projects" although we would love to have the staff to help with every ME old cemetery. What we have been able to do over the last decade or so is to offer opportunities for individuals to receive the training to safely make repairs to these cemeteries. Every few years we are able to offer a four day conservator led workshop for about 25 pre registered individuals. There they are able to learn all the skills to deal with the issues typically found in the local cemeteries.
More frequently we are able to offer workshops for those pre registered to learn to correctly clean gravestones or to reset leaning tablet stones. There applications on the MOCA web site for those interested in hosting one of these workshops. Also there is an application if to be considered for a four day conservator led workshop. These 4 day workshop applications make us aware of one's interest - there are many requirements including size of cemetery and stone needs so those are evaluated individually.
A 4 day conservator led workshop is being offered in July in Ellsworth (Joe Ferrannin of Hoosick Falls, NY conservator). I just checked and there are still some spaces available (or there were - these fill up quickly) and registration is accomplished on line via the MOCA web site. Clicking on the appropriate link on the opening page will give details.
As we have been able to offer these workshops a number of towns have been able to send their sextons to learn the skills and they are reporting it is making a big difference in their cemeteries.
On the MOCA Facebook page I just saw a photo of the Mt. Vernon sexton (he attended a 2016 workshop, then his town agreed to the supplies he requested, and he is making a difference in Mt. Vernon's cemeteries - just 1 example). In some instances - such as this - someone who has taken the training is able to have the town fund a conservator (Joe Ferrannini in the Vassalboro project) and then then ask already trained MOCA volunteers to also help which increases what can be accomplished with the funds the town provided for the project. Again - this is not MOCA organized since all we are able to offer is training.
A town up your way - I'd have to check, but Machias comes to mind - sent someone to a Cleaning/Leaning workshop in Rockport and then in 2016 (I believe) sent him to a four day conservator led workshop in Industry's West Mills cemetery. My recollection is that several towns in that area joined together to cover his lodging, meals, travel, and supplied a donation to cover the workshop expense. Sometimes towns working together is a way to be able to have a trained person available in a given area.
Answer Coming Soon!