This is a cross-post from our friend Dave McKean over at LowellIrish. Dave and other St. Patrick Cemetery stewards are cleaning up and documenting important and historic slate grave stones and markers.
The slate stones in Yard One are a treasure to the early history of the Irish in Lowell. Time is beginning to have its effect on them. Some stones which were pristine a decade ago are beginning to chip, break, and shatter. The carvings on these stones tell us of the happenings of the first arrivals. They are the men who walked with Hugh Cummiskey from Charlestown. They are the women who went to the well that once stood in the front yard of the church. They are the children, so many children, whose short lives would only be remembered in stone.
For these reasons, and maybe some of their own, a great group of folks gathered to help prepare the stones for photographing and our October 12th tour. The weather was perfect. We cleaned every shamrock stone that has been discovered so far, all 20 of them. I lost count of how many pails of brush and dirt we hauled away. By the end of the 2 hours folks were a little sore, a little dirty, and completely exhausted. I do not have the words to say an appropriate thank you.
For those of you who missed out on the fun next Saturday we will be working on some other stones. We’ll meet in Yard 1 from 9-11.