As I noted in a previous post, the Bell Rock Cemetery in Malden, MA is not in particularly good shape. The ground is littered with debris (glass, trash, condoms, etc.) and many of the gravestones are broken or knocked over.
Many graveyards have broken/toppled gravestones and it isn't always evidence of vandalism — lawnmowers, weather, and the ravages of time all take their toll. In Malden, there is clear evidence of vandalism. Even if some of the stones haven't been broken deliberately, many have been defaced on purpose.
Here are some examples:
These are only a few of the pictures I took — other examples of vandalism were more subtle (drawing on soul effigies with pencil, initials carved into stones, etc.)
I don't know whether anything can be done about this. I was thinking about getting in touch with James Cahill, the Superintendent of Cemeteries in Malden, but I don't know if that would do any good. There are only three public cemeteries in the town, so he must already know about what's going on at Bell Rock, right? Maybe we could put together some sort of preservation/cleanup effort. What do you think, gravestone aficionados?
The earliest stone at Bell Rock is dated 1670. Just to let you know what is at stake, here's one of the stones that has not yet been mutilated: