A person or persons have been trespassing and entering the cemetery grounds after closing and lighting candles and placing them on or around grave markers. The melted wax is running and defacing the monuments. This is a punishable crime under ORS 166.076 Abuse of a Memorial to the Dead. Considered a Class A misdemeanor it carries a maximum fine of $50,000. In addition to any other sentence the court may impose, if the defendant is convicted, the court shall also consider ordering the defendant to pay restitution. This is a very serious crime with heavy financial repercussions that the City and the FOJHC will pursue.
In addition to their lack of respect for our beautiful Historic Cemetery and those who rest within its grounds, they are putting the entire City of Jacksonville and its residents at great risk by burning candles given the extreme fire danger that we are all living under. The cemetery grounds, just like everywhere else, are so dry that a small fire could rapidly spread through the cemetery grounds and to the homes that surround the cemetery and beyond.
We ask that if you know who is involved, or know of anything that might help us to stop this criminal behavior before we are faced with a major disaster, please contact the Jacksonville Police Department at:
541 899-7100 or Dispatch at 541 776-7206
If you see anyone entering the cemetery after dusk, or see anything out of the ordinary, please let the Police Department know or contact the Cemetery Sexton, Richard Shields at 541 899-1231.
We thank you for your help and for caring and safe guarding our Pioneer Cemetery.
Dirk J. Siedlecki
President – Friends of Jacksonville’s Historic Cemetery
August 27, 2015