One of the sure signs that winter is coming in Annapolis Royal is the return of the protective covers for the tombstones at the Garrison Cemetery. The covers, which look like stylized dog houses to me, arrive every year just before the weather gets cold. As I was driving by the cemetery this morning, I noticed that they had indeed returned for another year. In all honesty, they have probably been there for two or three weeks but I had not noticed them until this morning.
These covers are installed to protect some of the older stones in the cemetery. Many of the older stones, like the Bathiah Douglass stone in the cover in the top image, are made from slate. This particular stone was made in Massachusetts and placed in 1720. This type of slate headstone does not fare well during the winter. Water tends to seep down between the layers of the rock. In the summer this is not a problem as the water eventually runs out. In the winter, this water freezes and expands. The expanding ice tends to break off the carved face of the stone. The covers prevent water from getting on the stones and hopefully extends their lifespan. The slate stone beside the Bathiah Douglass stone has already lost its face. The pieces from this stone are stored in the museum at Fort Anne.
The Garrison Cemetery is definitely one of the most interesting heritage landscapes in Annapolis Royal and I will have much more to say about it in the future.
All for now,