On it’s original site, Stewart Monumental Works Ltd. has served the needs of families for over 110 years. Founded by Alexander Stewart in 1896 and located by the historic Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria, British Columbia, Stewart Monumental Works continues it’s family owned tradition of “Personalizing a monument/
headstone to a loving memory.”
|Over the last 20 years, Robert Poncelet and his staff have continued the same tradition of honesty, reliability and exceptional quality that Alexander Stewart began so many years ago.”We will continue our level of service, helping families in need into our third century of business.”|
–Robert Poncelet, Owner
Why Granite Monuments/Headstones?
Over the last few decades, conservationists AKA monument guys have learnt allot about the preservation of historic headstones in the some of the oldest cemeteries in North America. Whether a small grave marker or large mausoleum, the stone of choice in this old style construction was generally the same type of stone used as that used for historic buildings.
These stone types were Marble; brown stone slate and some granite type’s .Consequently the same treatment and cleaning methods used in cemetery monument preservation are almost identical to the preservation techniques used in ancient stone buildings. Therefor cemeteries lend an ideal opportunity for monument guys to test and evaluate different treatments on a large selection of stones used for marking graves. Through the results of these monument/tombstone cemetery experiments, conservationist can use this knowledge to help them choose the best suited materials and cleaning methods for historic buildings.
Cemetery headstones exist in some extremely harsh environments. Gravestones are in contact with the ground and are relatively unprotected from all kinds of weather conditions. In these unforgiving landscapes the monuments will be subject to all kinds of weathering effects and stone erosion will be accelerated in comparison to the same types of marble, stone, granite monuments in more forgiving environment.
Cemetery Headstones exposed to these deterioration phenomena will reveal the following types of problems. Soiling and stained headstones, disaggregation of stone, spalling , cracking of monuments, displacement and flaking. As if these natural effects were not enough for our loved ones headstones, other factors contribute also. Vandalism to the headstone such as graffiti, toppled or broken monuments and even damaged caused to the headstone by failed attempts to repair the problems with incorrect stone fixing techniques or unsuitable material used to treat/clean or fix the monument.
Weathering forms that affect monuments.
Normally, different monument stone types will exhibit distinctive types of weathering which can be linked back the type of environments the headstone/monument is placed in. Marble and brownstone headstones suffer from discoloration and biological growth more than granite headstones and slate owing to the greater porosity and greater capacity for water retention.
Marble monuments will lose details from erosion faster than granite headstones. On the west coast of Canada in Victoria B.C, Ross Bay Cemetery has some prime examples of these weathering effects. Due to Ross Bay Cemetery’s location, it is a great example of marble erosion.
Like many other old cemetery’s, Ross Bays oldest headstones are made mostly from marble .The very white marble was partially sought after, it was an ideal material to carve deep designs into the monument or make into a sculpture. Unlike granite headstones the headstones made from marble are often faded into obscurity. This was mainly due to marbles inability to resist acids like acid rain which is more of a factor in the ever growing industrial economy.
The problems associated in marble headstones are less so with granite headstones. Granite is a very hard material and easier to maintain in a cemetery. Although there are many different types of granite in which to make monuments from, the majority of granite used in monuments are darker colours. The darker colours granites are primarily made of (35%) quartz and (45%) feldspar and potassium. These materials are harder materials Compared to marbles dolomite, magnesium and calcite. Thus using granite as a modern way of memorializing our loved ones has become the custom with monument manufacturers throughout the world.
Located on the west coast of Canada, on beautiful Vancouver Island, Victoria is home to Stewart Monumental Works Ltd. Stewart Monumental Works has made monuments in Victoria since 1896.
Visit our showroom at 1403 May Street, Victoria, BC V8S1C2
All monuments are made here on the West Coast, In Victoria BC