Delap Cemetery hit by vandals for second time

-A A +A
By Charlotte Underwood

Cemeteries are supposed to be peaceful resting places for the dead.

However, there was nothing peaceful at Delap Cemetery when President of the Historical Society Gerald Myers discovered the cemetery had been vandalized once again.

When Myers visited the cemetery in early April for a routine inspection, he discovered the same five tombstones, which had been vandalized in August of 2006, had been damaged once again.

“They were broken at the earlier fractures and the bases were upturned this time,” said Myers.

In addition, one of the nearby cement benches had been knocked over and damaged as well, according to Myers.

The cemetery is important for its historic significance to the area. The oldest headstone that was damaged dates back to 1842 and belonged to a lady who was born in 1777 and raised at the time General George Washington was camped in Valley Forge, according to Myers.

Myers estimates the damage to the cemetery may approach $1,000.

Campbell County Environmental Officer Glennis Monday was contacted and is investigating the incident, according to Myers.

Monday aided in the arrest of the teenage culprits who vandalized the cemetery the first time.

In October of 2006, they were ordered to pay $270 each restitution and perform 200 hours of community service. However, it was never paid and the repairs cost the historical society $540, according to Myers.

“The fine was not paid and most of the community service was not performed despite appeals to the system; justice was not served,” said Myers.

“The Campbell County Historical Society had to bear the cost out-of-pocket using scarce funds to repair the damaged headstones,” said Myers. With funds even more scarce and the damage more extensive this time, the historical society is worried about funding repairs.

Monday stated he did not believe the same group that vandalized the cemetery the first time was responsible this time.

“Looking at it, I think it was younger kids that did it, ” Monday said. Though he has no leads right now, Monday said he is hopeful of catching whoever is responsible.

“It’s in a hard location to watch and keep an eye on, but that’s something we’re working on,” said Monday, who hopes to keep a closer tab on the area.

The incident remains under investigation.

Myers said while he remains confident of Monday’s ability, he has no real hope of justice being served.

“Based on earlier experience, we don’t expect much,” said Myers.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the historical society on behalf of the cemetery to repair the damages, please call 566-3581.