Haven’t you ever wondered about the meaning of skulls, angels, urns and other symbols carved into gravestones? Or what it was like to live in the 17th century Chilmark Barn House, recently added to the national Register of Historic Places? This week is your chance to answer those questions and more, as Chilmark celebrates its local history at the Chilmark Library with presentations by two nationally-recognized historians.

First, Kai Nalenz, owner of Gravestone Services of New England, talks about the history and conservation of New England gravestones on Wednesday, August 15, at 5:30 p.m. The following evening, Thursday, August 16, at 5 p.m., historian Bruce Clouette discusses the Chilmark Barn House.

Mr. Nalenz is a member of the Association of Gravestone Studies and the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. He has conserved hundreds of markers throughout New England, including some entire cemeteries. He specializes in 17th to 19th century conservation and is well known for his gentle methods and non-abrasive hand tools.

Bruce Clouette, PhD, is the director of historical research at Archaeological and Historical Services. In addition to his experience in documenting historic structures and properties of all types, Dr. Clouette is an expert in industrial and railroad history and archaeology.

The programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Chilmark Public Library and the Chilmark Historical Commission.

For more information, call 508-645-3360.