Brady Lake of Livermore sets the top of a headstone Sunday that was broken by vandals at the Jay Hill Cemetery in Jay. The damage was discovered Oct. 1. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

JAY — Brady Lake of Livermore set the top half of a broken 1800s headstone Sunday at Jay Hill Cemetery as he and his business partner continued repairing 24 grave markers toppled by vandals.

Jeff Richards, left, and Brady Lake, both of Livermore, set a headstone on its base Sunday at Jay Hill Cemetery in Jay. Vandals toppled 24 headstones. The damage was discovered Oct. 1. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The damage was discovered Oct. 1 by public works employees mowing the back part of the older section of the cemetery.

The town hired L & R Granite Works of Livermore, which is owned by Lake and Jeff Richards. Both work full time in maintenance at Pixelle Specialty Solutions paper mill nearby.

“We repaired approximately 23 stones with three of them already being repaired in years past,” Richards said, making them hard to fix.

Richards and Lake have been cleaning and repairing stones since 2011. In 2018, they began selling and installing new stones.

“It started as a hobby and we turned it into a side business,” Lake said.


Some damaged headstones are from the early 1800s. One was that of Sarah Craft, wife of Charles Kimball. The stone was dated 1807-1884.

Some markers are granite and some are white marble, Lake said.

“It’s a great feeling to have family members come up to you thankful that they can now read the lettering of a loved one’s monument again,” Richards said.

Brady Lake of Livermore looks Sunday at one of the headstones broken by vandals at the Jay Hill Cemetery in Jay. He and his business partner, Jeff Richards of Livermore, repaired it. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The men previously cleaned 175 veterans’ stones at a Turner cemetery. The men also blasted, painted and repaired the wrought-iron fence that runs along the entire north end of the Turner cemetery.

“It’s jobs like this that make people realize how important it is to take care of these cemeteries,” Lake said. “I guess the biggest thing I enjoy from doing this is seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they see the outcome of our work.”

Most people take pride in how they look and how their homes look when they are alive, Richards said.

When they are gone, the only thing left that represents their pride is their monument, Lake said.

They take satisfaction, they said, in taking something that is basically unrecognizable and unreadable and making it look great again.

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