Sometime between 10 p.m. Sept. 13 and 2 p.m. Sept. 14 a trespasser climbed the fence at the Pioneer Village museum in Provo and defaced a large aluminum oxen on the museum grounds, police report.

“The unknown suspect used pink ground marking spray paint, which was likely stolen from a nearby construction site,” said. Lt. Brian Taylor with the Provo Police Department.

The paint was easily removable, so damages were small, according to Taylor.

But just five days later a bike patrol officer was pedaling around the museum property and saw an unattended bicycle inside the village, according to Taylor.

“He found the museum owner, Mr. Steven Nelson, and asked him about it. Mr. Nelson said he was cleaning up more criminal mischief at the museum and wanted to make a police report,” Taylor said.

Nelson reported that between noon on Sept. 18 and 4 p.m. on Sept. 19, four windows and a lamp had been shattered. It also looked like parts of the building had been thrown around, Taylor said.

“They had broken out all of the glass in the general store, half of the glass from the Turner home and one frame in the Loveless home,” said Steve Nelson, director of the village. “They stole candy and games from the store.”

What could have been an expensive fix-up has turned into friends helping friends. Nelson said he has a friend, Mike Nielsen, a glazier who offered to put the glass back in the windows.

Nelson was charged just $60 from Jones Paint and Glass, and he has had camera companies coming to give bids on putting security cameras in the village. One man said he had been to the museum before and loved the history there, and said he would give Nelson a good deal on cameras.

The Pioneer Village was created in 1931, as a project of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, when the first cabin was moved to the site.

At the museum, you can experience the life of pioneers. The Pioneer Village is home to original structures built by pioneers, including the Turner Cabin, the Haws Cabin, the Loveless Home, a granary, school, woodshop, corn crib, outhouse and more.

The Village also contains an Ox Shoeing Stock, various pioneer wagons, a working Blacksmith Shop, authentic General Store, pioneer games for the children, and a wide variety of rare artifacts and tools.

“We are still open,” Nelson said. Right now visits are by appointment only. The annual Harvest Festival will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. The next day the village will be cleaned and closed for the winter. It will reopen during the Christmas Holiday for the Christmas Festival from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 13,14 and 16.

Visiting Pioneer Village is free, but donations are always welcome.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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