Stephen F. Austin State University will host a free Preserve America Workshop on gravestone identification Friday, June 18, at several cemeteries in Houston and Cherokee counties.

Participants will learn to identify and distinguish between the most commonly used stones for cemetery markers in East Texas, including marble, granite and ironstone, as well as other materials that are often mistaken for stone such as zinc and concrete, said Dr. Perky Beisel, assistant professor of history at SFA.

"Being able to correctly identify the materials forming a marker allows one to better understand its cultural significance, as well as ensure its proper preservation," she said.

Two vans will depart SFA's Temple Forestry Building at 10 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m. the day of the workshop. Participants may either ride one of the vans or meet up with the group en route. The visit will include visits to the Selman-Roarke, Glenwood and Enon Cemeteries.

The field trip is sponsored by the Preserve America Cemetery Interpretation Project, a cooperative effort between SFA and the City of Nacogdoches. For more information or to reserve a seat in a van, e-mail Beisel at