Over 200 Trees, Several Headstones Damaged At Salt Lake City Cemetery

Sep 11, 2020, 12:49 AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Figures for fallen trees at the historic Salt Lake City Cemetery have jumped to more than 200, putting dozens of headstones at risk — including those of a few prominent Utah figures.

At least 208 trees were uprooted during Tuesday’s windstorm, and dozens of headstones were damaged.

Dave and Kathy Jones came the day before hurricane-level winds hit the area. They were in search of a baby girl, whose name had weathered away with time.

I’ve modified it a little bit so that I could read the face on that stone,” David Jones said.

Painstaking work revealed her name was Hazel, along with an inscription from her parents.

“It evidently says she has gone to sleep,” he said.

The Jones left grateful for their discovery, but they held their breath when Tuesday’s winds started howling.

“We thought these big trees here to the north might have tumbled in here — could’ve hit this stone, could’ve hit that stone,” David Jones said.

Lucky for them, the falling trees landed away from their family plot.

I think they’re probably OK, but we don’t like to see damage to the area,” Kathy Jones said.

But everywhere else, dozens of headstones were toppled over.

“Well, I guess those east winds — they’re so powerful,” she said.

However, trees narrowly missed landing on the headstones of three presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — John Taylor, Heber J. Grant and Gordon B. Hinckley.

And a tree clipped the obelisk from the headstone of the legendary Porter Rockwell.

As the Jones took in the storm’s path, they said it’s enough to keep one grounded.

“I’m grateful that as many trees are still standing as are here,” David Jones said.

City officials closed the cemetery and said funerals have been postponed until further notice.

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Over 200 Trees, Several Headstones Damaged At Salt Lake City Cemetery