Metro cemetery with Revolutionary War ties vandalized

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Flat Rock Police continued their investigation over the Memorial Day weekend into the vandalism of historic headstones at Vreeland Cemetery.

The destruction occurred sometime during the past week at the historic graveyard, which contains the remains of family members of a Revolutionary War patriot.

“We’ve gotten a few leads,” Police Lt. Kevin Murphy said late Monday. “Nobody is in custody at this time.”

Vreeland Cemetery is one of the oldest in the area and was recently renovated with the help of the city and volunteers. Visitors found broken headstones, which were reported to the police, according to a Facebook post from the Flat Rock Historical Society.

“This cemetery underwent major restoration in 2014 with the city funding the repair all of the broken stones,” the Sunday post reads. “All of the stones that had been meticulously repaired a few years ago are again in pieces.”

Groundskeeper Ron Klingel says the vandalism is a “terrible shame.”

The cemetery was where Revolutionary War patriot Michael Vreeland, also the first Euro-American settler of Flat Rock, was buried until his remains were moved a few years ago, according to the historical society’s Facebook post. His family members are still buried at the cemetery.

“Some of Vreeland’s sons served in the War of 1812 and Indian conflicts so they too deserve the respect that this Memorial Day holiday brings to mind,” the post reads.

Anyone with information is urged to call Flat Rock police at (734) 782-2496.