This is just beyond horrible. Peterborough Police report that sometime during the early morning hours of Saturday, December 13th, unknown suspect(s) entered Little Lake Cemetery on Haggart Street and caused damage to more than a dozen monuments. At this time, the damage from the mischief is estimated at $20,000. Many of the damaged monuments were of historical significance to the City of Peterborough.
Indeed, a note posted to the Little Lake Cemetery Facebook page by Mary McGee, CEO, Little Lake Cemetery Co, provides more detail on the senseless destruction. "Staff at Little Lake Cemetery discovered that 16 monuments were vandalized over the past weekend," McGee writes. "These monuments, some toppled, while others broken, a few beyond repair, are scattered throughout the cemetery, and appear to be deliberately targeted based on their historical importance and community significance."
“Little Lake Cemetery, with its deep, rich history and heritage significance, is a much loved parkland in our city," adds McGee. "To desecrate these monuments, several of which are over 100 years old, and all of which are a tribute to loved ones who have passed on, is a malicious crime against the families directly affected, and a deliberate crime against our community. It is hard to comprehend a motive to this action. These monuments are a testament to the local residents, their lives, loves and accomplishments, and to deliberately damage these stones is an affront to our moral compass.”
The Facebook page note adds, "Several of these headstones are well known in the community, such as the Barnardo Children’s monuments, which were evidently sought out and vandalized, despite being located within different areas of the cemetery. The Ackerman monument, damaged beyond repair, is historically significant as Lieutenant Ackerman is one of the only very few WWI vets to be repatriated after passing away abroad."
With the initial police investigation is underway, the staff of Little Lake Cemetery is now focused on resetting the stones where possible, and working with families on the process of restoration where necessary. Concerned families are encouraged to call the office at 705.745.6984 for more information. Residents who visited the cemetery over the past weekend and who may have seen any suspicious activity are asked to contact the police or crimestoppers.
Police are asking anyone who has information to contact them at 705-876-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.