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Valley Cemetery suffers another visit from vandals
Vandals toppled 15 granite and marble grave markers at the Valley Cemetery in Manchester this week. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Most of the damage occurred inside the Pine Street entrance and was discovered by Parks and Recreation workers Wednesday morning. Crews had reset some of the monuments before the end of the day.
Police estimated the damage around $3,000. Although cemetery workers had reset most of the monuments, some were at odd angles; indentations left by the heavy stones remained visible. One large, white double headstone was cracked in several pieces and rested in the grass near the cemetery chapel.
State Rep. Jane Beaulieu, president of the board of Friends of Valley Cemetery, said she visited the landmark a few weeks ago to view damage done by thieves attempting to pry bronze from the tomb of Frederick Smyth, the mayor of Manchester who was elected governor of New Hampshire in 1865.
“It continues to happen. Last spring we had a group of pipe fitters that raised about 120 stones,” she said.
Aron said Valley Cemetery does not have a full-time maintenance crew. She estimated it is targeted by vandals two or three times a year. “Valley Street seems to be the one that’s hit the most often. The others we don’t have too many problems,” she said.
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