Tag Archives: Coley family

Famed Westport Family Graves Vandalized

The Coley family has been in Westport a long time. Anyone who has heard of “Coleytown” knows the name.

Bill Coley has not lived in Westport since 1968. But — like other “06880” readers — he took time on Mother’s Day to visit his family plot. Here’s what he found:

My wife and I were in town on Sunday. We decided to visit Coley Cemetery on Weston Road, just over the Westport border. (It was known as Norfield Cemetery before being transferred to the town of Weston by Norfield Congregational Church, about 20 years ago.)

This is where my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great- grandmother are all buried, along with several older generations whose tombstones are now so weathered as to be unreadable.

When we arrived, we discovered that 6 to 8 gravestones in our plot and an adjoining one had been knocked over. Several were broken, including my great- grandmother, Abbie A. (Gray) Coley.

A few of the vandalized graves in Coley Cemetery.

Although Abbie died 70 years before I was born, I have always felt a special affinity toward her and her husband, my great-grandfather Horace Coley. He was a farmer and teacher in Westport in the mid- to late 1800s.

Seeing her stone knocked over and broken in half hit me in a way I never would have imagined. Even as I write this 4 days later, I am still very emotionally affected by it.

Our plot is at the back of the cemetery, so the vandals would have been virtually invisible to anyone driving by on Weston Road. We reported the damage to the Weston Police, who are investigating.

I remember this happening once before when I was growing up, but I was still shocked by what I saw. It is obviously the work of teenagers with too much time on their hands.

I know it’s unlikely, but if anyone has heard anything about this incident, please contact the Weston Police. The case number is 17-4298.

Abbie (Gray) Coley’s tombstone, before the vandalism.