Jasper arts teacher restoring old headstones - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Jasper arts teacher restoring old headstones

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A Jasper High School art teacher  is working on engravings from old headstones to preserve some of the county's history.

Since April Josh Dodd of the Jasper Stone Carver Group has spent much of his time in a small corner of the Dubois County Museum.

He says he started a year ago when he was approached by a couple of county officials.

"It was Matt Hilger and Stan Yochum," said Josh. "They were both kind of walking through the cemeteries and they realized that several of the stones had faded away to the point where you couldn't even read the markers anymore."

Josh says the Dubois County Community Foundation commissioned a trip that took him to Pfaffenweiler, Germany which is Jasper's sister city.

"I stayed for a month there with a local stone carver named Michael Eckert," said Josh. "He taught me the skill of the stone carving, and some of the skills I would need for this particular type of restoration."

When he returned home, he waited until the school year ended before he began working to restore hundreds of the county's old headstones.

 "I was walking through the cemetery. I said, 'That one needs it. That one needs it.' We kind of picked them up, and then we get it back in here and I start carving on it," said Josh.

Josh has only made a small dent in the hundreds of headstones that need restored. He says it's tedious work, but the end result is worth the time and effort.

"We're actually preserving history," said Josh."We're kind of not only preserving it but resurrecting it. We're making it as new as possible again, so that it's here for the next hundred years. I'm working on a stone right now that's 200 years old. So in theory, me recarving it should make it last another 200 years."

If you're interested in Josh's services, you can email him at: jdodd@gjcs.k12.in.us

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