Monumental work

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 8, 2001

Scaffolding covers the Mississippi Monument in the Vicksburg National Military Park as workers from the National Park Service Historic Preservation Training Center in Williamsport, Md., work on the 92-year-old monument Wednesday. The scaffolding allows the workers safe access to all parts of the 76-foot-tall monument while protecting the monument to Mississippians who fought in the Civil War from further damage. Below, Lois Leyda chisels a concrete and stone patch from the monument. Once the old patch is cleared, it will be replaced with a stone patch from the same quarry in North Carolina from which the original stone came. The damage Leyda is working on is from a 1952 lightning strike. Workers also will remove and replace damaged mortar. The repairs are expected to be complete in five months, and park officials hope repaired bronze panels, which line the lower part of the structure, will arrive in Vicksburg and be installed about the same time. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)