COVINGTON, La. (WGNO) — If you find yourself longing to hang around cemeteries, then you are not alone.
We found one woman who dedicates her life’s work to spending time with tombs.
Her name is Emily Ford, and she is a full time preservationist and tomb cleaner.
She owns her own business, Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC.
“It just kind of was this incremental thing where it became clear to me that this is what I want to do, and this is how I get there,” says Emily.
Emily works 7 to 8 hours a day in the sweltering Louisiana heat for a job she says is a true calling.
“It’s a lot easier to see these cemeteries as movie sets and as places that tourists can go as opposed to the real reality of what they are, which is people’s heritage that they struggle to preserve,” says Emily.
She’s currently working on a tomb that is located in Covington Cemetery No. 1.
This resting ground was established in 1813, and the tomb she is working to preserve is from the 1830s.
“When it is preserved correctly it works fantastically. You can’t just restore something and never touch it again. You just have to maintain buildings and tombs,” says Emily.
Her current tomb will take her about two months to restore.
It is made out of lake brick or clay that came from lake Pontchartrain back in the early 1800s.
“It’s held together with, basically, material that was made by burning oyster shells,” says Emily.
The work may be tedious, but Emily believes that resurrecting the memory of a loved one or ancestor just may keep their spirit alive.
On October 20th, Covington Cemetery No. 1 is holding a “Living History Tour.”
It’s where live characters will dress up as the deceased and give their life’s story.
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