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Officials Increase Reward in Historic Boalsburg Cemetery Vandalism Case

by on May 13, 2014 1:56 PM

Officials have increased the reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for extensive vandalism at the historic Boalsburg Cemetery.

The Harris Township Board of Supervisors voted Monday to increase the State College Police Department $1,000 reward to $3,000 in hopes that whoever is responsible will be arrested.

Vandals knocked over at least 51 headstones sometime overnight May 3. Some of the grave markers date back to the Civil War. A few of them were snapped in half and broken beyond repair.

Police say the majority of damage occurred to burial lot headstones located behind Zion Lutheran Church, located on the corner of Church Street and Old Boalsburg Road.

During the investigation, authorities also discovered a ground mounted spotlight was also damaged at Saint John's United Church of Christ, which is across the street from the Zion Lutheran Church and the Boalsburg Cemetery.

Whoever is responsible for the vandalism could face charges of desecration of venerated objects and criminal mischief.

Anyone with information regarding the incident can contact State College police at 814-234-7150 or submit an anonymous tip HERE.

Boalsburg Cemetery is widely believed to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. In 1864, three women placed flowers at the graves of Dr. Reuben Hunter and Amos Myers, two soliders who died during the Civil War. Those headstones are undamaged.

The destruction happened just weeks before Boalsburg celebrates the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day.

The cemetery association has set up a Facebook page to solicit donations. Donations can be made HERE.

Checks made out to the Boalsburg Cemetery Association with "Save The Graves" in the memo line can be mailed to:

Boalsburg Cemetery Association
P.O. Box 443
Boalsburg, PA 16827

Donations are also being accepted at St. John's United Church of Christ and Zion Lutheran Church.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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