Union Cemetery sign returned to rightful location
By Taylor Hale
STEVENS POINT – Mayor Mike Wiza gathered with city crew members and staff from the Stevens Point Police Department on Aug. 30 for the rededication of the recently recovered Union Cemetery sign. The event took place at the entrance of the cemetery on Water Street.
The sign was stolen after city crew members took it down in May of 2020 for renovation work. The sign was recovered in August of 2021 after police executed a search warrant at a local residence. Local fabricator Andy Vollert performed restorations on the sign and fixed a slight bend that the sign maintained while it was being illegally stored in the suspect’s garage.
“Lots of people were very concerned because of the historic nature of the sign,” Wiza said. “Lots of time went by, and due to the diligent work of our police department they executed a search warrant and recovered the sign.”
A number one and nine on the sign were fully replaced, but artistically aged and patinated to match the rest of the sign.
“The cool thing is you can’t tell what numbers were replaced,” Wiza said.
Several cars cheered with their windows down as they drove past city workers rehanging the sign.
“Thank you very much to the police department, to the parks staff and crew, and to Andy, and the citizens that stepped forward and put in a lot of effort to find it,” Wiza said. “ “Hopefully people will have a little more appreciation for it when they drive by.”
Director of Parks and Recreation Dan Kremer was in attendance at the event.
“We were torn up when it was taken,” Kremer said. “The crew [restoring it] was trying to do a nice thing, and it disappeared when we put it on the ground.”
The suspect who stole the sign is under investigation by authorities. Follow the Gazette for updates on this story.