The Plainfield Cemetery located in Unadilla Township, Michigan, was established in 1845 by the Plainfield Burial Ground Society. The group is still in charge of the cemetery’s care.
In October 2005, vandals attempted to obliterate 160 years of history. Tombstone were rent from their moorings and crushed. Chunks of stone were thrown everywhere. 108 were damaged when it was all said and done. Police have no idea who would desecrate the burial site.
Since October volunteers from the society and the community have been trying to put the cemetery back together. They are putting together each tombstone piece by piece. The vandals were not neat and tidy. Chunks are mixed together and can be found anywhere in the cemetery. It is a slow, painstaking process. They must sift through the debris matching shapes, colors, and wording. Each piece is glued together with a special expoxy that takes 24 hours to dry. Each piece must be glued separately, so one tombstone could take several days to repair. Since October, they’ve been able to complete 30 grave markers and return them to their grave sites.
As this is an old cemetery, many of the early stones tell tales of history long forgotten. Some date back to individuals born in the late 1700s, a couple are from men who died in the Civil War.
An act of vandalism such as this can tear a community apart. There cemetery work is bringing this community together. Not only are they doing right by those who are buried in the cemetery, but they are learning their stories and remembering their roles in local history.