Cheryl Willis Patten, of the Maine Old Cemetery Association, will speak during the May 16 meeting of the East Madison Historical Association starting at 6:30 p.m. the East Madison Fire Station, 1108 East Madison Road, Madison.

Patten’s talk will be about “Preserving Our History, Caring for Our Cemeteries.”

Cemeteries contain the history of individuals and of towns, information that might be found nowhere else. Patten’s talk will provide information to help anyone get started conserving this valuable historical record, according to a news release from the East Madison Historical Association.

The presentation will cover basic information about cemetery association, how to correctly clean gravestones, and will address some basic information to consider as one evaluates a cemetery to determine what work might help to conserve the cemetery. Special attention will be given to the cemeteries in East Madison.

According to the release, Patten, also a member of the Association for Gravestone Studies, has been an advocate for cemeteries for many years. She was chairwoman during the 2011 AGS annual national conference, which was based at Colby College, and has been active in MOCA for more than 20 years. She has held various offices with MOCA, recently chairwoman of the MOCA workshop committee.

Patten also has participated in many cemetery preservation workshops. Retired from teaching and from state employment, she now has more time for tramping through cemeteries in Maine and in various other states and countries.

Light refreshments and the monthly meeting will follow.

For more information, contact Sue Lahti at [email protected] or 431-2170.

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