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Gravestone brought back home after being missing for 146 years

Peter Weller's grave stone.
Peter Weller's grave stone.(Kaylie Crowe)
Published: Aug. 8, 2021 at 9:37 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - After 146 years Lansing man Peter Weller’s lost tomb stone was found. Today the friends of Lansing Historic Cemeteries placed the stone back to it’s original resting place.

“Unfortunately it does happen occasionally. It isn’t common it’s not very frequent and most of the time if it had happened nobody would know the difference because there wasn’t an auction with a monument on the website so it is unusual,” said Loretta Stanaway with the Friends of Lansing’s Historic Cemeteries.

Peter Weller died in 1849 and is most remembered as a pioneer and businessman in Lansing. His monument went missing in 1875 when it was moved from Oak Park Cemetery to Mt. Hope Cemetery in Lansing. This monument was eventually found on an auction site where the auctioneer agreed to return it. While they may not know exactly where this marble monument was for 146 years they do know an Okemos family had it at one point as used it to make fudge.

“It was found in the home of a family who was using it to make fudge. They were turning over the monument and making fudge on the back white marble slab,” said Stanaway.

Weller’s two daughters and daughter in laws stones were found in bad shape, one was even almost entirely underground. They are now being preserved to keep their stones intact.

“Most of what you see in cemeteries for the last 100 something years are made of granite. They last longer, they can withstand the weather, they’re easier to clean. Whereas marble or lime stone are a little bit more fragile,” said Gravestone Repairman with Silent Cities, Andrew Noland.

While this process was as long time coming Loretta tells News 10 it was important to her to return Peter to his original resting place as well as preserve the families gravestones.

“I think it’s only proper and respectful everybody deserves to have a legacy and this is part of his legacy. He was a Lansing business owner he was a pioneer,” said Stanaway.

Friends of Lansing’s Historic Cemeteries have now restored 111 monuments in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

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