Over a dozen headstones in 170-year-old Dover cemetery vandalized
A cemetery in Morris County that has been serving families in the region for more than 170 years has fallen victim to vandalism.
The Orchard Street Cemetery in Dover dates to 1851. There are grave markers for soldiers from the areas who served in the War of 1812, the Spanish American War, World War I and World War II.
Many of the family plots had been very well maintained. But someone has damaged over a dozen headstones, pushing many of them over.
“My heart broke and went to the bottom pit of my stomach when I saw that and I took an inventory of what was gone,” says Keith Titus, president of the Dover Cemetery Association.
Titus says that he found the damage on Monday.
"The headstones throughout this cemetery are made of granite and marble. They are extremely heavy. This one belonging to the Engleman family weighs 1,300 pounds,” Titus says.
Because the stones are so heavy, it is believed that it took multiple people to push them over.
Titus cares for the site seven days a week. He mows the lawn and cleans the monuments by hand. It is a bear-bone operation, but one that he takes a lot of pride in.
“Only through volunteers like myself and others are the grounds even kept up nowadays. Or the cemetery would definitely go into disrepair,” he says.
Titus says that it will cost thousands of dollars to repair the stones. A monument company will need to be hired to work on the site.
The Dover Police Department and Morris County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.
Up to $1,000 is being offered as a reward for an arrest. Anyone who may have information is urged to call the Morris County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers at 973-COP-CALL.