$20,000 of vandalism done at Pontiac mausoleum

- One of the oldest cemeteries in Michigan was targeted by vandals as the crooks caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to a historic mausoleum.

Oak hill cemetery in Pontiac was deeded in 1820 before Michigan was even the state.  It's like a walk through history with Michigan's 12th Governor Moses Wizner, Major General Israel B Richardson, better known as "Fighting Dick" in the Mexican-American War - and 27 Civil War soldiers too.  

You would think that people would want to preserve history.

FOX 2: "Any idea who would want to destroy a mausoleum?"

"If I had any idea we would look for them," said Larry Keehn, volunteer director, Oak Hill Cemetery. "And we would have them behind bars."

Sometime during the weekend of March 4th, vandals tried to break into this mausoleum built in the late 1800s.

"Someone just walked in here over the weekend came in here," Keehn said.

What about respect for Thomas and Jane Wallace.   Nobody famous. Common people, farmers.  Yet, Thomas has been in the mausoleum since 1898, Jane since 1902.

"It's just sad to mess with these people who haven't done anything to anyone," said Gregory White.

That's True.  Oakland County Sheriffs are working on this but, damage has been estimated to be $20,000. 

Keehn says it's possible that since 1902 someone could have come inside and stolen other bodies.

"It's sad to see people come in here and destroy what we've had here for all our lives," White said.

And because there are only volunteers preserve this cemetery, it could be an easy target again.

"They're trying to get back in, and if this was a well-maintained structure you wouldn't be able to do this," Keehn said.

And that's why Keehn is hoping for anybody that can help preserve Oak Hill Cemetery to give him a call, 248-303-0186, that's his personal cell number.

"We are trying to get this back to when it should be," he said. "It's going to continue to take a lot of work,  plus money, we are working on shoestrings."
 

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