Authorities say there is a logical explanation behind the recent discovery of several gravestones in a local lake.

Questions arose after a Green Oak Township resident found a number of gravestones in the shallows of Briggs Lake two weeks ago. The stones ranged in dates, from as far back as 1882 to as recently as 1980. Bob Tyrer, the individual who found the stones, wondered how they got there and why they were put there. But Green Oak Township Police Chief Jason Pless says while strange, the discovery of gravestones in odd places isn’t as unusual as one might think.

Pless took a similar complaint about gravestones found in a lake about 20 years ago while on patrol. Pless says an individual who owned a monument company based out of Detroit lived on the south shore of Briggs Lake and likely disposed of the stones there. Monuments with writing errors are usually offered first to the family of the deceased person, but if not redeemed by the family, must be disposed of by the company. That includes monuments that are replaced with new or improved headstones.

Pless says the monument company’s owner has since moved from the area and believes he is now deceased. While he’s not sure it’s necessarily ethical of the unwanted stones to be disposed of this way, Pless says he learned the individual used them as boat anchors or to reinforce the shoreline. As for a veteran’s headstone that was among those recently found, Pless says he has confirmed with the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Detroit that the headstone was replaced many years ago.

Though the explanation kills any mystery surrounding the finding, Pless says it’s good for the public to know the backstory should they come across marked stones. (DK)