Consolidating Shelter Island’s history

COURTESY PHOTO | Two volunteers working  to restore memorial tabletops at the rear of the Presbyterian Church.

COURTESY PHOTO | Two volunteers working to restore memorial tabletops at the rear of the Presbyterian Church.

The Shelter Island Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is midway through the preservation project of the Brinley and Mary Sylvester and Thomas and Mary Dering tabletops at the rear of the Presbyterian Church.

According to DAR spokesperson and Sylvester Manor descendant, Joy Bausman, “Conservationist Joel Snodgrass has painstakingly removed 200 years of bio-growth and lichen from the two historic tabletops over the last two months and is progressing with the preservation and consolidation treatments.”

The cleaning has involved multiple applications of a non-toxic solution and meticulous scraping to remove the bio-growth. Following the cleaning was the in-filling of cracks and joints after which Mr. Snodgrass extracted the two Sylvester slate inlays and the epoxy beneath them. The two slate inscription inlays have involved building an inert backing system for repairs and reinstallation, which should take place in the next couple of weeks.

The marble inscription tablet of Thomas Dering and his wife Mary Sylvester has required a different treatment due to its marble “sugaring” and could not be removed but has been cleaned of old epoxies and patched with conservation mortar.

This past week, Joel and his wife Alice applied several applications of a chemical consolidant, which gives the sandstone tabletops a binder that will shed water and slow down future deterioration.
For more information call Karen Kiaer at 749-1853.

 

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