Monthly Archives July 2019

Green Lawn Cemetery restores statue of 118-year-old ‘fisherman’ – News – The Columbus Dispatch

For nearly 120 years, the memory of Emil Ambos has been perpetuated through his statue on his grave at Green Lawn Cemetery on the West Side.

On Monday, a new day began for his legacy, as the cemetery officially unveiled its recently restored statue of Ambos, commonly referred to as the “Fisherman’s Statue”.

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“Restoring this statue was a top priority because of its history and artistic merit, combined with its popularity with people who visit the cemetery,” said Randy Rogers, president of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association, the group at non-profit which owns the cemetery and is responsible for its preservation and restoration.

The bronze statue was cast in 1901 and depicts Ambos, who died in 1898, seated on a log holding a fishing rod in one hand and a fish net in the other with a bucket at his feet.

“He was a gentleman and a playboy,” Rogers said. “He was a ‘Bruce Wayne’ type figure in town,” in reference to Batman’s wealthy alter-ego.

Restoration of the statue was necessary due to both vandalism and age.

In the late 1990s, a vandal broke into the cemetery and shot the statue, hitting it in the center of Ambos’ straw hat. A few years later, the fish began to disappear from the spar. This was all happening as the statue began to turn green, a common discoloration from bronze exposed to the elements.

“We decided the only way to do it right was to insert it away from moisture,” said Mike Major, the Urbana-based sculptor who performed the restoration. “We actually had to clean the surface to get all that oxidation out. I also re-sculpted the fish based on a photo where there was still a fish left.

Major first sandblasted the statue to remove the oxidation before applying a mixture of wax and acid which restored the original brown hue. After bolting the new fish and a bucket handle, he applied a final coat of wax to prevent oxidation. In total, the restoration lasted about 2 1/2 months.

“If this statue is waxed every year, it will last for eternity,” Major said. “But if it is neglected, it will probably be 15 to 30 years depending on how much sand is blowing in the wind.”

The restoration, which Roger said cost around $ 30,000, was paid for by the cemetery council endowment combined with the annual donations the cemetery receives. The restoration was part of the preparations for the 175th anniversary of the cemetery, which will take place in 2023.

For Roger, the restoration not only cleaned up one of Green Lawn’s most famous statues, but also brought new attention to the history of Ambos, which Roger considers important for any cemetery.

“It’s really rewarding when we do restoration work here in the cemetery, because not only are we preserving the history of our city, but we are also preserving those stories,” Roger said. “We have people buried here who are well known; we have people here who are not. But when you come in and start researching them, you find they all had a story. “

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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story distorted the age of the statue.


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Green Lawn Cemetery celebrates 170 years with a look to the future

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Saturday was a special day for Green Lawn Cemetery, celebrating 170 years in Columbus with tours and a barbecue.

Why celebrate a cemetery? The owners take advantage of this year to draw attention to the historic beauty of the land and to celebrate the new management of the cemetery.

Dozens of people gathered to visit deceased family members and learn more about the history of Green Lawn.

“We have families who have been buried here since the 1800s and continue to be buried here today,” said Randel Rogers, president and director of the Green Lawn Cemetery Association. “You find all the stories of Columbus right here in the cemetery.”

Generations lie side by side at Green Lawn, including the family of Tom Maurer.

“This is my grandfather Frank, who has worked here all his wholesale productive life,” said Maurer, who also worked as a guard at the cemetery. “It’s his wife over there, his mother and stepfather buried in front of him.”

While working at Greenlawn, Maurer learned hard work and followed in his family’s footsteps.

“I worked here from 1941 to 1946,” he says. “My grandfather worked here before me.

Decades later, a new venture is helping bring this historic piece of land and the memories that come with it to life.

Kyle Nikola and Memorial Properties of Ohio take over Green Lawn operations.

“As a graduate of OSU, I felt a connection with Columbus,” Nikola said. “I wanted to come back here and be able to represent the community and do something special. ”

But being a cemetery keeper is more than making sure the grounds are clean and presentable. It is also about preserving history.

“We think it’s important to be a keeper of the family heritage, so we’re going to be doing things like life reviews and interviews with families and we’re keeping that in our permanent records here so that when future generations come along. looking for their ancestry, they will learn a lot more than where they were buried or just the dates of birth and death, ”said Nilola.

For Maurer, who turned 91 on July 5, the cemetery’s growth and improvements will only keep his family memories alive for decades to come.

“You can support the start of our family here,” he said.

This year is just the start of the next five years, when much of the cemetery will be restored, leading to a grand 175th anniversary celebration.


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