Entering the Douglas, Arizona Calvary Cemetery you will find a combination of historic grave stones scattered among the rows of tombstones of more recent departed souls. Located just a few hundred yards from the Arizona/Mexico border, it is wise to observe the cemetery visiting hours.
The Douglas cemetery greeted us with an array of tombstones in all shapes, sizes and designs. Built in the early Arizona Territory days, it is the final resting place of Sheriff John Slaughter. (1841-1922)
Cemetery preservationists have found a safe and non-destructive method of creating beautiful creations utilizing the skills of tombstone rubbing. The Arizona Historical Society and www.gravestonestudies.org approve gravestone rubbings IF the following rules are followed.
Check with the regulations of each individual cemetery. Some older cemeteries do not allow rubbings under any circumstance. Locate a sturdy tombstone with no signs of cracks or chipping that could create further damage. Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe off any dust or debris. Use dressmaker interfacing for best results. The material is soft and will not scratch or harm the monument. Use a specially made wax (shaped like a hockey puck) for rubbing. The rubbing wax comes in many colors.
Carefully drape the interfacing over the tombstone design you wish to copy. Secure the material with a non-sticky tape. (Painters tape is good or a light masking tape. It should not leave any residue on the surface of the tombstone.) Gently rub the waxy puck over the interfacing in a gentle circular motion. You can add a couple of different colors to add a bit of contrast. When satisfied with your piece of art, carefully remove the interfacing from the tombstone. Make sure the stone’s surface is once again clean and free of sticky residue.
Roll up your masterpiece and secure with a piece of tape. When you get home, roll out the art work face up on an ironing board. Place an old towel over your design and press with a hot iron. This will set the color and it will not rub off. Now you have the perfect gift item for your “Taphophille” friends.
From Phoenix take l10 east to the 303 exit..Travel south to Douglas on Hwy 80.
Douglas, AZ 85607-2008
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