Fence Guards Donnellys' Graves Tombstone May Have Been Moved

[...] The nearby village of Lucan and residents of the Roman Line where the Donnelly clan lived, preferred to forget the blazing feud between the Donnellys and their neighbors that culminated in the mass murder.

But in the past few years, the publication of story and song on the Donnellys has made the feud and the deaths probably Western Ontario's most widely known incident of folk history.

Unfortunately, it also resulted in a flood of curiosity and sensation seekers which has ended with the closing of the graveyard to all except relatives who wish to visit graves.

[...] Lawyer Carter said the order was given after a succession of serious desecrations of the church and churchyard ranging from defacing of the Donnelly monument and other markers to invasion of the church itself.

Some trespassers in the church even climbed to the organ loft to play the organ. Others tried to carry away souvenirs from the church.

[...] Father Bricklin agreed that the Donnelly marker is a remnant of Western Ontario history of vast interest to thousands.

"But if they'd stop writing stories and folk songs about it we could have some peace of mind."

Source: Eric Finch, "Fence Guards Donnellys' Graves Tombstone May Have Been Moved," London Free Press, September 12, 1964. Notes: London Public Library, London Room, Donnelly Scrapbook, Volume One.

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