Vandalism in historic cemetery

Started Dec 10, 2004 | Discussions thread
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Tony Finnerty
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Vandalism in historic cemetery
Dec 10, 2004

Since moving into gold country in the Sierra Nevada of California, more than a year ago, I have loved visiting historic artifacts from the '49er gold rush and aftermath. St. Canice cemetery in Nevada City, where many of the early miners and their descendants are buried, is the first place I went with my brand new E-1 last February. I can feel history and sense something of the life stories of those folks. I've been back many times, often to take photos.

Last Saturday I found that vandals had struck. Most of the old wood crosses, marking the graves of people too poor to afford tombstones, had been pulled up and thrown at random. Some of the marble headstones were broken off. I was too heartsick to take photos.

Yesterday I went back to record the vandalism. I'm not sure why. It was a dark, rainy day, a reflection of my gloom that people would do such a thing. There is little art in destruction. However this picture, showing a marble obelisk broken off a monument and thrown to the ground, has some photographic appeal through the gloom. I wasn't using a tripod, so had to crank up ISO and couldn't get as much depth of field as I'd like.

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