Tony Battista, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 747 in Plano, has completed his Eagle Scout Project at Old City Cemetery in Plano. Tony’s project wass the restoration of the old iron fence in the cemetery.
Step 1 was to remove only the loose powdery oxidation and any rust scale that is on the fence. To do this a stainless steel fine wire brush was used. Heavy corded or twisted wire brushes are too aggressive for historic iron work and can easily remove too much material. The finer wire lasts longer and has more flexibility to reach tough spots and corners.
Step 2 is to treat the fence with a rust converter. A converter works by chemically changing the iron oxide into a more stable iron tannate or iron phosphate.
Step 3 was applying a coat of primer.
The final step is to apply two coats of oil based paint.
Here are some before and after pictures-
Thanks Tony for helping to preserve a piece of Plano’s historic past!
The Bush Cemetery, also known as the Bush-Elkin Cemetery, is located just north of highway 121 in McKinney. Though the location of this is now within the city limits of McKinney, the Bushes were important members of early Collin County settlement and members of the Bush family went on to marry into other early Plano families.
Bush Cemetery Before Restoration
Bush Cemetery Before Restoration
William Martin Bush was born in 1827 in Kentucky. When he was 18, William went off to fight in the Mexican War, where he rose to the rank of Major. In 1855 he and his wife, Nancy Elkin Bush, came to Collin County and the two had two sons. Sadly, a year later in 1856 Nancy gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Nancy Jr., and died a few days later from complications from the birth. To add to the tragedy, Nancy Jr. passed only a few months later. The mother and daughter were the first to be buried at the cemetery. Over time other Bushes, Elkins, and even John Haggard were buried here, though some were later re-entered just down the road at Rowlett Cemetery.
In October of 2014 the Collin County Historical Commission reached out to Kenny Bush to see if he knew anything about the cemetery or any of those buried in it, but he didn’t know the cemetery even existed. Wanting to know more, Kenny immediately visited the long neglected cemetery, jumped into research mode, and took it upon himself to restore the cemetery and preserve the history in it. He and his family removed overgrown weeds, a dangerously placed tree, and started the slow process cleaning off decades worth of grime from the headstones. As of today, the cemetery has been cleared, the stones clean of all grime and standing tall once more, and a new fence has been installed around the plot. The location is being closed in by neighborhoods and housing like much of Collin County, but Kenny’s hard work and dedication to his ancestors is insuring that generations to come know of those buried there and can visit them in a peaceful setting.
The Plano Conservancy has written a proposal for funding through the Collin County Historical Commission grant to have a wayside sign installed at the cemetery so that visitors and passersby know the humble beginnings, the history, and the importance of the site. If awarded, we hope to have the sign installed by the end of 2018.
Welcome back to our blog series! This will be the final post in this series, and we’ll be looking at what will (hopefully!) be the newest site added to the National Register of Historic Places in Plano. If you enjoyed this series, please let us know with a like, share, comment, or all three! If you have any ideas for another blog series you’d like to read or something you would like to know more about, shoot us a email and we’ll keep it in mind.