Vandalism Hits Historic Cemetery For Second Time In A Decade

Feb 4, 2018

Lane County authorities want tips on who may have vandalized the Luper Pioneer Cemetery…again. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.

Headstones rest on sections they were broken from in Luper Cemetery in North Eugene.
Credit Peter Thurston / Luper Pioneer Cemetery Inc.

Vandals last trashed the North Eugene site in 2009. Dozens of markers were broken and re-arranged, one to make a fire ring. Four teenagers were eventually required to pay restitution.

Luper Cemetery.
Credit Peter Thurston / Luper Pioneer Cemetery Inc.

In this most recent incident, two headstones were damaged and two foot stones were taken off grounds and left along River Road sometime last month.

Peter Thurston is President of Luper Cemetery, Incorporated. He says young people have occasionally loitered on cemetery grounds after hours…standing on plots or leaning against headstones.

“We caution them against doing any of that stuff," says Thurston.  "In fact, we ask visitors to only go there from dawn to dusk and not go out there when it’s dark. Can be pretty dangerous, if one of those things falls over on someone…there’s some tall ones out there.”

Peter Thurston, visiting KLCC studios.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Luper Cemetery was founded in the mid-1800s, before Oregon became a state. It’s maintained by volunteers while donations fund its restoration and maintenance.

Tips on the latest vandalism can be called in to the Lane County Sheriff’s Department (541-682-4150).

Copyright 2018, KLCC.