Vandals damage 100+ tombstones in Kettering

Published: Monday, March 23, 2015 @ 1:33 PM
Updated: Monday, March 23, 2015 @ 4:28 PM

            Vandals damage tombstones at Kettering cemetery
Vandals damage tombstones at Kettering cemetery

Vandals damaged more than 100 tombstones in Beavertown Cemetery in Kettering over the weekend.

“This is a historic place,” said Carol Curl, whose son and grandparents are buried there. Their headstones were damaged in the vandalism.

“This cemetery has been here since 1803,” she said, explaining she will be buried there too.

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The cemetery is owned by the city of Kettering. The 3.5-acre lot was turned over to the city in 1986 by the Beavertown Cemetery Association, according to the city’s website.

Formerly named Beulah Burial Ground, it is located on Cemetery Road off Valleywood Drive.

On Monday, city workers took stock of the damage. They said they will try to contact families to alert them.

Officers estimated about 112 tombstones were moved off their bases or tipped over. City workers said they thought the number was closer to 140.

“This was just pure meanness. Just pure meanness,” said Lois Lemley, who has relatives buried there. “It’s a shame they have to take it out on dead people.”

Kettering police advised families whose relatives’ tombstones were damaged to get a copy of the police report, take pictures of the damage and file a claim with their own insurance companies. City workers will also attempt to repair as many of the tombstones as possible.

“It looks like a war zone,” said Bryan Link of Bellbrook after he surveyed the damage. “Whoever did this had intention to do severe damage, and they accomplished their goal.”

Link’s mother is buried there, but her tombstone was not damaged.

Beavertown Cemetery contains a “Potter’s Field,” a place where paupers were buried. The cemetery also has the remains of one veteran from the Revolutionary War, seven veterans from the War of 1812, one from the Mexican War, three Spanish-American War veterans, 46 Civil War veterans and numerous vets from WWI and II. Only one veteran from the Korean War is buried there, and several from the Vietnam War.