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Historic Greenwood Cemetery vandalized after being damaged by flooding

Dozens of headstones were damaged and a bench was set on fire. The Hillsdale Police Department said two juvenile suspects were taken into custody.
Credit: KSDK

HILLSDALE, Mo. — A nearly 150 year old cemetery is being cleaned up after suffering damage again, and this time, it wasn't from flooding.

Greenwood Cemetery in Hillsdale, a historic Black cemetery in north St. Louis County, has been victimized by vandals multiple times in recent days.

On Monday, a bench was lit on fire. The fire came shortly after dozens of headstones were damaged.

"It's got to stop," Raphael Morris, who is the Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association president, said. "I mean this is just crazy...we can't have this...we've worked too hard to restore this cemetery to be experiencing this now."

The association said they haven't dealt with vandalism until now.

The Hillsdale Police Department said two juvenile suspects were taken into custody. Police are investigating the fire and headstone vandalism.

The cemetery, which dates back to 1874, sustained damage from this summer's historic flooding.

Flooding left ruts as deep as two feet on the only road running through the cemetery. 

RELATED: Months after historic flooding, this St. Louis cemetery is still trying to cleaning up

There are ruts stretching all the way up and down the paths here at the cemetery, but there are bigger stories that lie on these hallowed grounds.

Greenwood holds historic figures in the black community, such as Harriet Scott, the civil rights activist and wife of Dred Scott.

"We have the very first black postal carriers, Pullman porter people here, all sorts of doctors, lawyers, teachers, ministers," Morris said.

The preservation group said it always accepts donations to continue its upkeep. For more information, click here.

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