ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Police are investigating a bizarre theft in the North Hills.
A piece of history dating back to the time of the Revolutionary War has gone missing from the area, and one local historian would like it back.
Tall grass and weeds now cover what was once a beautiful golf course at the Highland Country Club. It went bankrupt a couple of years ago and remains abandoned.
Now, hikers come through all the time, and over the Memorial Day weekend someone did the unthinkable.
“It doesn’t make any sense why someone would take it now, especially,” said John Schalcosky, of the Ross Township Historical Society. “It lasted this long, and the weekend – Memorial Day weekend – of all the times to take this headstone. It was just despicable and a horrible thing to do.”
Vandals stole part of the gravestone and a plaque that marked the grave of Casper Reel.
He fought in the Revolutionary War at Fort Pitt. For his service, he was given more than a square mile of land, which is where the former country club sits.
Now the gravesite has been vandalized.
“The plaque, which was built into that rock right there, sat in that rock for 186 years,” Schalcosky said.
Schalcosky, a North Hills history buff, says this wasn’t just any grave.
“There would be no Cranberry, no Zelienople, no Mars, no Wexford, no North Hills if this guy didn’t come up here first and settle the land,” he said.
Ross Township Police have been told about the theft. They’ve alerted scrap dealers to be looking for the marker. Whoever took it went to a lot of trouble.
“It would be a little suspicious for someone just carrying a headstone out onto Highland Avenue… the founding father of the North Hills,” said Schalcosky.