Mischief night leaves Old Burying Ground vandalized

(Image: courtesy of Catherine Doane of the Westbrook Historical Society)

WESTBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) — Westbrook First Selectman, Noel Bishop, and Town Historian, Catherine Doane, awoke Saturday morning to discover that the landmark Old Burying Ground had been vandalized, incurring over $10,000 in damages.

Connecticut State Police were dispatched Friday night to a report of vandalism in Westbrook’s historic Old Burying Ground, where they discovered approximately 40 headstones that had been either leveled, shattered, or both.

Catherine Doane of the Westbrook Historical Society had been working with the Connecticut Gravestone Network in an effort to protect, preserve and restore a number of stones. The Old Burying Ground is Westbrook’s oldest cemetery, and contains monuments from as early as 1738. Doane laments the loss, remarking, “That’s our history.”

(Image: courtesy of Catherine Doane of the Westbrook Historical Society)
(Image: courtesy of Catherine Doane of the Westbrook Historical Society)

Noel Bishop tells us that he conducted a walk-through Saturday morning after receiving word from Connecticut State Police. Bishop tells News 8,

“This incident is a violation to everything this community holds in esteem. This cemetery is of great historical value to our town, and is a place where our history is, in many ways, manifested. The Old Burying Ground contains gravestones that date back to the Revolutionary War.”

State Police have assured Bishop that they share his concern. While at this time there are no suspects or witnesses, this is a high priority investigation. Troop F has asked the public for help in this matter; anyone with information is encouraged to call them at (860) 399-2100. Stay tuned with News 8 for updates.

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