Historical Society Upset Over Angel's Disappearance.
by Tina Pabst and Wilma Felton-Gray
On MARCH 21, 2008 Tina and Ed Pabst went to visit the Maplewood Cemetery in Mt Upton, N.Y. to photograph a unique angel and found the historic figure had vanished without a trace. Upon returning home the following were notified, Tom Gray, Guilford town historian and Rodney Schultes, the Maplewood Cemetery Association president. Mr. Schultes did not feel any family members had removed the angel for cleaning or repair. Upon hearing this, Mr. Schultes checked with the person who cares for the cemetery and was told the figure was definately there at the last mowing in the fall of 2007. He followed up by going to the Chenango County Sheriff's department and filing a police report.
We believe the angel is a white bronze monument actually made of zinc. She sat on a base and stood approximately 40 inches tall total. With her haunting expression, hair in ringlets, and clasped hands, she was very special. The value is currently being determined and if and when person or persons are apprehended, the charges brought against them are based on the statue's value. We urge you to call the Chenango County Sheriff’s Department with any information on the location of this precious cemetery marker.
Rebecca D.M. Todd photographer for Farmers Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y., stated, "Tina and I refer to the angel as Mary and Minnie because in the cemetery she was flanked by identical right and left crosses bearing the names Mary (on the left) and Minnie (on the right). I have taken many photographs of Mary and Minnie. She has graced the cemetery for decades. Help us find Mary and Minnie and restore her to her sacred place."
Wilma Felton-Gray, with the Guilford Historical Society, has been creating a database of the Maplewood Cemetery. A book has been printed by the GHS and is currently being updated. “ Mary and Minnie, as the angel is referred to, belongs to the Truesdell family plot. They were Mary and Minnie Bentley. Mary was the daughter of George and Rhoda Truesdell and Minnie was their granddaughter. Who would do this? Is it a collector or someone looking to make a profit by selling the angel on Ebay? As Ebay and antique shows are creating a basis of retail, more and more items of this type are being sold. It seems likely that the angel will reappear somewhere. All must be vigilant and keep an eye out and report any information to the Chenango County Sheriff’s department.” As stated by Wilma Felton-Gray.
Many have been notified including auction galleries, art dealers, scrap dealers, other historical societies, and anyone who may be interested in spreading the word to be on the look out for her. Another GHS member stressed that “we should look at all cemeteries in the area and check to see if any other monuments or statues are missing.”
If anyone knows of an occurrence such as this, call Tina Pabst at 607-895-6131 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As mentioned above, it is a desecration to a cemetery and is punishable by law. If the angel is returned to the cemetery, even anonymously, it would be greatly appreciated.