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Vandals Damage Dozens of Headstones at Historic Cemetery in Boalsburg, Reward Offered

by on May 04, 2014 9:05 PM

Vandals go on a destructive crime spree at the historic Boalsburg Cemetery, damaging more than 50 headstones. Now the search for suspects is underway.

Many of those damaged headstones date back to the 1800's.

The crime was reported late Sunday morning. Boalsburg resident Jeff Fisher tells StateCollege.com he called police after driving past the cemetery and spotting the damage around 11:30 a.m.

Some headstones were pulled out of the ground, others knocked over and some were broken in pieces. 

Most of the damaged headstones are located directly behind Zion Lutheran Church, at the corner of Church Street and Old Boalsburg Road.

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. It appears that both of those headstones are undamaged.

Sunday evening, a steady stream of people wandered through the cemetery, looking at the carnage. One man remarked, "Do you think kids did this?" Others stared at the lines of toppled grave markers, sighing out loud, "What a shame." 

A ground mounted spotlight was also damaged at Saint John’s United Church of Christ which is located across the street from the cemetery.

Investigators believe the damaged headstones were targeted at random. The State College Police department is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

If you have information about the incident you should call State College Police at (814) 234-7150. You can also file an anonymous tip with police by clicking HERE.

You can watch video of the senseless destruction below:

 

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Steve Bauer is Managing Editor & Chief Content Officer at StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy. You can e-mail Steve at Steve.Bauer@StateCollege.com and you can follow him on Twitter @SteveBauerSCcom
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