Whiskey Bottle Left Behind As Garfield Monument Is Vandalized

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In life he was America's 20th president, gunned down by an assassin’s bullet in 1881, but what he may be remembered for most in this era is a box of missing spoons at his Cleveland monument.

"It's not the most exciting story in the world but it's unusual," said Kathy Goss, president and chief executive of Lake View Cemetery. "It could have been a rite of passage, just some young guys. They left an empty bottle of fireball whiskey outside and a cigarette butt."

Goss tells 10TV the thieves took 13 commemorative spoons from a display case. The Garfield casket, and the casket of his wife, which are both on display were not harmed.

"On the north side of the monument there was a frame, which was not an original part of the monument but set up in recent years," said Goss. "So what we think happened was they were drinking fireball whiskey and one of them dared another to climb up the pipe frame and kick through a stain glass window."

Goss says the spoons have little monetary value. They were simply a commemorative set kept in a small locked box.

There will be increased security at the monument according to Goss. Two surveillance cameras are expected to be installed soon.

And if you're concerned about the fate of the remains of James and Lucretia Garfield, don't worry.

"They are very safe because they are under lock and key on the other side of iron gates," said Goss. "You can't get close to them."