Reposted from the Sharon Patch: Halloween is a great time to remember the history set in the stones of our local graveyards, burying grounds, cemeteries and final resting places scattered thought New England. Many are minimally cared for and vandalism is a long-standing issue.
This was the case at the West or Billings Cemetery in Sharon, MA. The grave markers in this cemetery date back to circa 1717 and are rich in history, but many wore centuries of weather, pollution and neglect. That was until local business owner Paul Bunis took notice. Paul is a stone lover. His company, Boston Stone Restoration cares for the marbles and granites that decorate some of Boston’s grandest buildings, including the halls of the Boston Public Library, Harvard and upscale eastern Massachusetts homes.
One summer day in 2011, Bunis noticed the old cemetery on the way to his Sharon home and couldn’t resist poking around. He noted the poor condition of the monuments and figured he could do something about it. After months of research and some lobbying of town officials, Paul was granted permission to start cleaning and restoring the granite and marble markers of the West Cemetery.
Paul is a stone man, but also a history buff, he says, “We all have a responsibility to care for the historic treasures in our communities, this was my way of helping to preserve of a little piece of Sharon history.”
Utilizing his own time and resources, Paul has restored over 16 marble and granite grave markers at the old West Cemetery on weekends and days off. He has cleaned 30% of the grave stone markers including all of the marble and many granite monuments in the cemetery and feels he’s just about done with the work he can do.