Vandals hit 32 graves
Appeal Staff Writer
“Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not.”
– Inscribed on the Cowen children’s tombstone
When John and Elvira Cowan laid to rest their three children more than 100 years ago, they likely never imagined vandals would destroy their tombstone.
“These are babies,” said Lone Mountain Cemetery Sexton David Stultz as he and caretaker Tim Glancy wrestled a large granite tombstone back into its place. It bears the names of 2-year-old Freddie, 7-month-old Juna and 2-year-old Jerry, who died in 1861, 1865 and 1870 respectively. “They didn’t even bother to read them, they just tipped them over.”
Sometime Friday night, vandals broke and toppled about 32 headstones in the northeast corner of the cemetery. Among those damaged were markers for family members of Nevada pioneer Abraham Curry.
Glancy said the last time vandals hit the cemetery was in 2002.
“We haven’t had a big one like this since then,” he said.
With the cemetery closing at dusk and park rangers now patrolling the grounds, the incidences of vandalism have been reduced, said Sheriff Ken Furlong.
Still, someone either scaled the fence or climbed Lone Mountain to spend however long it took to disturb more than two dozen gravesites.
Park rangers discovered the damage Saturday morning.
“You could see the hand and butt prints in the dirt where they were sitting and using their feet to knock them over,” said Glancy.
He and Stultz spent all day Tuesday righting what the vandals had wronged. For the tombstones that had been broken, the best the men could do was place the pieces against the parts that were still intact.
Glancy said some of the markers could be mended with epoxy, but with the changing temperatures, over time the epoxy will crack and more damage could come to the mended pieces if they fell again.
“These are really historic markers. There’s no way to duplicate these,” he said.
Though the Cowans may never have worried about their children after death, Glancy and Stultz are. And they wanted the vandals to know they are looking for them.
“This (behavior) is immoral,” said Glancy. “It is probably one of the more rotten things you can do in life.”
• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1213.
You can help
Anyone with information on who vandalized Lone Mountain Cemetery should call Carson City’s non-emergency sheriff’s dispatch at 887-2007.