On my trip to Rochester, NY, a couple of years ago, I stopped in Mt. Hope Cemetery to see the graves of Buffalo Bill’s children, Arta, Orra and Kit, and was very disappointed to see the condition their headstones were in. Bill’s family was just as surprised as I was at the photos I sent them, and they proceeded to do the following restoration project upon receiving them… I KNOW the Colonel is smiling down!! Way to go guys!
Buffalo Bill’s Family Gravestone Restoration:
On a beautiful Wednesday in October, our team of gravestone preservationists scouted Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester NY for Buffalo Bill’s family plot. Using the map, they quickly located the children’s markers and took pictures of each one. Just down the path, they repeated the process for Buffalo Bill’s foster son, Johnny Baker’s gravestone. Johnny had ties to Rochester and cared for the Cody graves after Buffalo Bill died.
It had been a long drive from Cape Cod, so the next goal was good lodging, refreshment, rest and preparation for the initial treatment. The following day, Dwight and Rick sprayed the stones with D/2 to neutralize years of acid build-up. Returning Friday afternoon, they got out the safety glasses and rubber gloves again, re-sprayed with the D/2, gently scrubbed each stone to a lather and rinsed. Years of neglect disappeared!
As you can see the results are dramatic! The lichen on Arta’s stone is gone and Orra’s stone practically shines. With a little care, these historic relics of our family’s favorite son can last a lifetime while the staff of Mt. Hope Cemetery cuts the grass. Away over yonder, at the last roundup in the happy hunting grounds, Bill turned to Johnny and said with a smile, “They didn’t forget.” Like an old buddy, Johnny returned the smile and said, “How could they?” and so they rode.
We started on this trail with the “Buffalo Bill’s Family Gravesite Restoration” fundraiser in the June 2015 Review, appealing for the capital needed to preserve the gravestones of Buffalo Bill’s son Kit, and daughters, Arta and Orra Maude. Along the way, we heard the story and included Johnny.
We thank you all for the contributions which made all this possible. From Jeff “Gunny” Norman to BB’s g-g-grandson, Kevin Cody and his “Remember the Children” in the November Review, and especially the generosity of the donors which led to this real achievement by our team!