Local Pioneer Cemetery Vandalized Again

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Near SANTA CLARA, Ore. — Disappointing–that’s how Luper Cemetery volunteers describe new damage caused by vandals, even as crews work to repair tombstones broken several years ago.

More than 160 people are buried at Luper Pioneer Cemetery, and while they may no longer be walking this earth, cemetery caretakers say they’re still victims of this senseless act of vandalism.

Daniel A. Bushnell is one of many who were laid to rest there. But even in death he can’t escape the harsh realities of today’s world.

“Well, they don’t have anybody to defend them except for those of us who have an interest in the cemetery,” said Peter Thurston, Luper Cemetery President.

This past weekend vandals toppled Bushnell’s headstone and another monument not too far away.

No one’s quite sure why this is such a popular target for vandals.

“There’s just a lot of mean people in the world, and they get their kicks out of weird things. Who knows why? I don’t know why,” said Merilee Boulton, Luper Cemetery Secretary.

But folks with family there just wish the complete disrespect would stop.

“Really, I was just heartsick. Everything was coming together so well, and just about had everything restored as best as we could. And really it’s just disheartening to go out there and see that people can be that cruel,” Boulton said.

Despite all that, they won’t be discouraged.

“What it means is, we’re just going to have to get back out here and straighten things up and continue on,” Thurston said.

And they’ll keep fighting the fight for those who can’t.

Cemetery caretakers say this place is an important part of local history and we should all be invested in its preservation. If you have any information on who might have done this, contact the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.

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