Vandals desecrate mausoleum, gravestone in rural Albany cemetery

City police are investigating vandalism at the Albany rural cemetery, including an anti-gay slur and other black paint spray-painted graffiti on a white marble mausoleum and gray granite marker.

Desecration of the historic cemetery burial grounds apparently occurred either late Saturday evening or early Sunday morning when a frequent cemetery walker spotted it and notified cemetery staff.

“It is the most vicious act we have had in the 35 years that I have been here,” said chief executive John Buszta. “I think it’s an act of random vandalism, unrelated to the burial grounds.”

“We think of bored teenagers in the area who did something really stupid,” said Detective Sgt. George Thomaides. He ruled out a hate crime or crime targeting family members buried in the mausoleum.

The vandalized Hosler Mausoleum can be found in Section 130 at the northwest end of the 467-acre cemetery, near homes along Schuyler Road.

The ornate mausoleum features a stained glass window and a filigree copper door grille, with space for six coffins along its walls. Five burials began with Patriarch Frederick W. Hosler, the family patriarch, born in 1864 and died in 1940. He was president of the Hosler Ice Cream Co. on Spruce Street in Albany. His wife, Mattie May Wheeler, and other members of his family are buried there. The last burial was Harold J. Magee in 1980.

The vandals spray-painted “RIP” and a six-letter anti-gay slur on either side of the richly carved columns, along with a caricature of a person’s head and a capital “A” on the side and side. the back of the mausoleum.

Nearby, “Argo” was spray painted – an apparent reference to Ben Affleck’s political thriller – on a cross on the front of a granite gravestone for William J. Smith and two family members.

Thomaides said investigators did not recover a spray paint or any other evidence.

Investigators will compare the cartoon with a database of taggers and graffiti kept by police in an attempt to match the cemetery vandals, Thomaides said.

“In my opinion, it was the work of young children or a graffiti tagger,” said Buszta, although there is no indication of alcohol consumption activity among adolescents in the area. .

The Hosler Mausoleum commands a small grassy island in a secluded part of the picturesque and wooded cemetery, established in 1841. Albany Rural is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and many political notables are buried there, including President Chester A. Arthur, including the tomb is the most visited among more than 135,000 tombs.

Albany Rural is of national significance as it was at the forefront of the country’s rural cemetery movement in the mid-19th century. At that time, cemeteries were located on the outskirts of overcrowded and polluted northeastern towns. They were landscaped by landscape architects who incorporated wooded ravines, streams, and monumental stone carvings to create a park-like setting for the dead and a popular destination for Victorian-era picnickers.

Buszta said the cemetery will apply for a grant from the State Cemetery Council’s vandalism fund to pay for the specialized cleaning process needed to remove the spray paint from the porous marble mausoleum and granite marker. He could not provide an estimate of the costs of the cleanup.

Following the vandalism, cemetery officials are considering additional security measures, including surveillance cameras, Buszta said.

“It’s terrible. Why ? asked Chris Bunting, a gardener for eight years. “Why would anyone do that in a grave? It’s a total disrespect.”

“Just so sad and sick. I hope the vandals are caught,” Paula Lemire, an Albany Rural expert who blogs frequently on the cemetery’s history, wrote on Twitter.

[email protected]518-454-5623@PaulGrondahl

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The Missing Names of Cloncurry Lawn Cemetery – ABC (none)

Lisa Caldwell, director of business services at Cloncurry Council, said it was an emotional issue for many residents of the town in northwest Queensland.

“This is a very sensitive area and we have to make sure that everything we do there is respectful of it,” she said.

“It is an important place for people, and it is the last resting place for their family members.”

The board has consulted with the community on possible solutions to the problem and some ideas will be discussed at the regular board meeting next week.

Ms. Caldwell says the missing letters are caused by several factors.

“The high mineral content (of the borehole water) somehow destroys the plates, it settles in the letters and then they become unreadable and because they are flat and the water does not flow – it stays on the plate – and that causes problems, ”she said.

She says using rainwater is not a viable option in the drought-stricken city.

“Because there is such a large amount of lawn, keeping it green would require a lot of water and the community is concerned about water conservation here, so borehole water is our best option,” a- she declared.

The Council is also addressing a second problem with the cemetery. Most of the larger angular plates sink because they are placed on top of the graves, which are uncompacted earth.

Council has allocated $ 125,000 in its budget for this fiscal year to fund a project to address both issues.

Ms Caldwell inspected the cemeteries at Charters Towers, Longreach and Barcaldine for possible solutions.

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Toronto Cemetery Stays: Park Lawn Cemetery

urban landscape

A green awning provides a serene final resting place in the Kingsway area.

The fake cemeteries that decorate residential lawns this Halloween bear little resemblance to the real Toronto cemeteries, which, in fact, are full of life. As we did last year, during this week we will be visiting some of the most interesting definitive resting places in the city.

Nestled south of Bloor Street between Kingsway and Bloor West Village, Park Lawn Cemetery fits perfectly into the lush green parks bordering the Humber River. You could spend hours wandering its lands and enjoying the flora and fauna.


Entrance to Park Lawn Cemetery, circa 1941. City of Toronto Archives, fonds 1568, room 460.

The cemetery opened in 1892 as the Humbervale cemetery. Funding came from the sale of shares, with most of the shares held by local farmers. The cemetery was sold in 1912 to a buyer who promised to maintain the cemetery, but whose real intentions were to transform the property, including the parts occupied by the dead, into a housing estate.

Several former shareholders formed the Humbervale Cemetery Defense Association to, according to the Star, “Prevent any desecration of property”. An advocate begged the newspaper to publicize their battle, which had hardly impressed local politicians. “I beg you for the good of humanity to give this cause a place in your columns,” wrote the author of the anonymous letter, “because if this agreement is allowed to pass, with the sanction of one of the highest office in the land, then that means that no place, however sacred, is safe from the attack of the vandal and the land shark, and our much-vaunted civilization is a myth. “

The defenders of the cemetery were victorious. The property was sold in 1915 to the Park Lawn Cemetery Company, which gave the site its present name.


Park Lawn is almost completely covered with a canopy of trees, making it a lovely place to take a walk on a fall day. Instead of private crypts and extensive landscaping, it features attractive natural beauty that attracts humans and other large animal species.

Notable names

Many of Toronto’s sports figures rest here. Maple Leafs Owner Conn smythe Probably again cursed Harold Ballard, another resident of Park Lawn, for removing a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II from Maple Leaf Gardens to install more seating, shortly after Ballard bought the team. And there are probably no kind words exchanged between Smythe and Harvey “Busher” Jackson, a third of the Leafs’ Kid Line in the 1930s. For years, Smythe blocked Jackson’s election to the Hockey Hall of Fame because of Jackson’s alleged character flaws. When voters neglected Jackson’s alcoholism and glee to admit it in 1971, Smythe resigned his Hall of Fame presidency. The battles beyond Smythe’s grave are probably recounted by Lou marsh, the Star Sports writer whose name graces the trophy awarded each year to Canada’s best athlete.

Other notables include writer / broadcaster Gordon Sinclair, Politicians Stanley haidasz and John MacBeth, and musician Jeff healey.

Favorite places

Park Lawn is a prime location for All Saints’ Day sightings by the Polish and Eastern European community. The grounds were filled this week with those who laid flowers and lit candles at the graves of their loved ones.

We were charmed by a tombstone resembling a building. Other markers commemorate first dates and remind the living that “a man rarely succeeds at anything unless he has fun doing it.”

Additional material from Etobicoke From the furrow to the borough by Esther Hayes (Etobicoke: The Borough of Etobicoke, 1974), and the October 21, 1913 and June 24, 1914 editions of Toronto Star. Photos by Jamie Bradburn / Torontoist, unless otherwise noted.

Filed as Conn Smythe, Harold Ballard, The Kingsway, cemeteries, cityscape, etobicoke, harvey busher jackson, humbervale cemetery, lou marsh, park lawn cemetery, toronto cemetery stays, toronto maple leaves

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