Headstone Cleaning: Charles Henry Duduit

A week ago while working on the 1884 “Graveyard on the Hill” at Greenlawn Cemetery in Portsmouth, Ohio, my eye was caught by a small marble marker that appeared to have the carved figure of a young child. Upon further inspection, I saw that it belonged to the small child Charles Henry “Charlie” Duduit. He was the young son of Francis Edward Duduit and Mary Catherine Oakes. Charles’s father, Francis Edward Duduit, a pioneer citizen of Scioto County, was the son of Gillaume Duduit and Zaire Le Croix, one of the old French families living on the French Grant in the area near the Scioto-Lawrence County border.

This marker was cleaned using D/2 Biological Solution and water initially. Later, Orvus paste, a PH-neutral detergent, was added to act as an emulsifier for the D/2 solution as the windy and sunny conditions caused the moisture content of the stone’s surface to rapidly decrease. The lower portion of the tablet appears orange and it is believed that this is due to the tablet being set directly into the clay soil without a base. This is supported by the adjacent tablets having a crude concrete “rim” around their base to stabilize them. This crude base may have been added when repair work was performed on the large family monument. Measurements were taken to create a more permanent and suitable base for Charles’s grave marker.

Below are both a time-lapse video of the monuments cleaning on May 2, 2021, and side-by-side comparison photos showing the pre-cleaning and post-cleaning condition of the marble tablet.

The second set of comparison photos provides a detailed very of the decorative carving. After cleaning it is apparent that the carving is of a young child playing a harp while a lamp lies at their feet.

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  1. […] finishing up cleaning the headstone of Charlie Duduit I took a walk around in search of other markers that needed attention and came across […]

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