West Avenue Cemetery Index

Canandaigua, NY


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Buffalo Courier Express                 Sunday             March 31, 1929

Arrangements are being made by the board of public works to renovate the long neglected West Avenue Cemetery, which contains the bodies of some of Sullivan's soldiers and their descendants. Gravestones, long since leveled by the elements, will be raised, and the grounds graded and weeded.


Finger Lakes Times               Friday                           Apr 12,   1985    pg 13

Vandals Damage Canandaigua Cemetery  -  By BRENDA PITTMAN 

CANANDAIGUA - While city police are pursuing several leads into the vandalism at West Avenue Cemetery sometime Wednesday night, the big question is who will pay for repair or  replacement of the s673 headstones damaged. 

City officials said the destruction is the worst display of vandalism in the city's history. There is no official estimate of the damage yet, but officials say if is in the "thousands".

"A lot of the headstones were historic," said Mayor Patricia Boland, today. "A lot of them probably cannot even be repaired.  But I think the big question is who is going to pay for it.  I don't think cities are responsible, since the stones were actually purchased by individuals, many of whom may be dead.

A ballpark figure on a new headstone is around $200 and we have about 700 of them damaged," the mayor said. "We are talking damage.

"We are not sure, at this point, if our insurance will even cover this " She said City Manager, Carl Luft is checking into that.  Clean-up and repair will be postponed under the city determines whose responsibly it is, Ms. Boland said.   The 673 stones were either broken, uprooted, tipped over or smashed.

Right now, there is a lot of work going on (in the police department) just to try and catch the people who did this." she said




Finger Lakes Times              Tuesday                                  Apr 16, 1985  pg 13

Assistance offered for cemetery; Two charged in weekend vandalism           By CAROLYN SHERIDAN

CANANDAIGUA - Local residents and contractors are offering a helping hand to clean up the historic West Avenue Cemetery that was damaged by vandals late last week.

"We've had many people call and offer their assistance," said Suzanne Ray, director of Canandaigua's Parks and Recreation Department, which is overseeing the clean-up.

Meanwhile, Timojhen Loomis, 16, of 180 West Ave. and an unidentified 15-year-old companion were arrested by Canandaigua City police Saturday and accused of vandalizing the cemetery early  last Thursday morning, said Sgt. Robert Ruggles.

Loomis pleaded innocent in City Court, Monday to a felony charge of second-degree criminal mischief in connection with the incident.  The case was held for the grand jury following a preliminary hearing this morning before Acting City Court Judge, George E. Muehe Loomis was released in the custody of his parents and under the supervision of the probation department, a court spokeswoman said this morning.

Until the hearing, Loomis had been held in Ontario County Jail without bail. The charge against him is a Class D felony and carries a maximum sentence of seven  years in prison, Ruggles said.  Loomis was also charged with fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, for allegedly throwing a piece of tombstone and breaking the window of a Bristol Avenue residence early Thursday, Ruggles said.

Loomis' companion was not identified because of his age and his case will be petitioned into family court, Ruggles said. The companion was released in the custody of his parents.

Police said 637 headstones were damaged during the early morning spree.  No estimate of the damage has been determined.

"I've heard figures anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000," Ruggles said, referring to the value of the damage.

Help has poured in. More than a dozen local residents have offered to help right the toppled headstones, said Mrs. Ray.  A local contractor, Jeff Wyffels, has volunteered manpower and equipment to help reset the stones.

And Earl Coleates Welding has offered to supply iron spikes for driving into the stones to hold the pieces together, Mrs. Ray said.  "A retired gentleman. Bob Alvut, also called to say he had a tripod we could use to set the stones back. "

And, the U S. Army Reserve will consider a request from local officials to supply about 30 men plus hand tools and other equipment to lift the heavier headstones.  "The request is pending at this point," said Duane Steffens, public affairs officer with the 98th Training Division, headquartered in Rochester.  He is spokesman for Company D of the 464th Combat Engineer Battalion located in Canandaigua.

About 20 stones were already put upright by volunteers such as John Fischer, 22, of Holcomb, and Mike Beauchemin, 20, who lives near the cemetery.   They worked four hours last Friday morning.  "It was a terrible thing," Fischer said, referring to the vandalism.  He said he volunteered to help because he "thought it was the right thing to do."

Clifford Springett, owner of Becker Motors in Canandaigua, established a reward fund for information about the vandalism, kicking in $100. Donations ranging from $2 to $25 have trickled in.   And, today, the fund totals over $500, said employee,  Burrell Holden.  The money already collected will go toward paying the reward but Holden said he hopes the area Chamber of Commerce will continue the fund and use it to cover restoration costs at the cemetery. 



Finger Lakes Times                         Thursday                             June 6, 1985

Youth pleads innocent in cemetery vandalism - 

CANANDAIGUA - A 16-year old Canandaigua youth pleaded not guilty to a charge of second degree criminal mischief, a felony, in connection with the April 11 vandalism of grave markers at West Avenue Cemetery.  Arraigned before Ontario County Court Judge George Reed, Timothy M Loomis, 16, of 180 West Ave pleaded guilty after the county grand jury yesterday handed up a sealed indictment against him.  He also pleaded innocent yesterday to a fourth-degree criminal mischief charge that alleges he threw a piece of a headstone through a window of a residence on Bristol Street.

A vandalism spree in the West Avenue Cemetery during the evening of April 10 and early morning April 11, resulted in about $20,000 worth of damage for 673 historic headstones.

Loomis was released to his parents under the supervision of the county probation department.

After his arrest in April , Loomis had been held in Ontario County jail without bail.   He pleaded innocent to the felony second-degree criminal mischief charge in Canandaigua City Court April 15 and was released into the custody of his parents and under the supervision of the probation department. 

A 15-year-old also accused in the vandalism incident faces charges in Family Court. His name was not released because of his age.



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