Diamond Bessie's Headstone

The Historical Commission had first envisioned being able to repair some of the stones that have been broken for years in Oakwood Cemetery. We never dreamed that we'd be tasked with restoring the headstone of "Diamond" Bessie Moore, a young lady who was murdered here in 1877. Over the years, she's become the "adopted daughter" of Jefferson.

My wife has been on the Garden Club committee that maintains Bessie's grave for years, and in all that time I've seen people leave stuffed animals, costume jewelry, coins, etc. as a tribute to her. I've never seen anything disrespectful at all - ever. Imagine my shock when the call came in that her headstone had been broken. I met some other folks out there, and we called the Jefferson police. Their assessment was that some kids had come to the cemetery for an evening of mischief - they also damaged 4 headstones in the adjacent Mt. Sinai Jewish Cemetery.

To repair it, we had two tasks: first, attach the bottom of the headstone to the marble base; and next, re-attach the top of the headstone.

If anything good came from the vandalism, it is the fact that the Cemetery Association is now placing security cameras at Oakwood Cemetery. Hopefully this will deter criminal activity in the future.

If you'd like to read the story of Diamond Bessie, just click on this link.