BELL COUNTY, Ky. (WVLT) - Vandalism is nothing new at national parks, and it's a never-ending process to clean up.
The Cumberland Gap National Historic Park even had to set up surveillance cameras to keep an eye on a priceless artifact.
A 150 year-old cannon that survived the Civil War, is now the target of vandals.
"The actual cannon tube itself came to us from the Battle of Chickamagua. So it wasn't here, but it did see action in the Civil War," said Martha Wiley, the park's historian.
It's a reminder of the area's importance during the war.
But now, people are ignoring the warning signs and leaving their own mark on the cannon. Some chisel in their initials, others their name.
"We have thousands of people coming here. Many of those are ancestors who fought in the Civil War, and to see a cannon that's been desecrated in that matter, it does upset them," said Martha Wiley.
Chief Ranger Dirk Wiley says restoring the cannon not takes time, but also slows down repairing trails or cleaning up the park.
"The maintenance crews would waste their time, sand, paint, and then wait for the next set of vandalism to come by," said Ranger Wiley.
At first, the surveillance camera set up above was to catch people in the act. But now park officials are hoping by getting the word out, that it won't even happen.
"This is something that is ours to protect. And you would no more go up and carve your initials into someones car door, as an everlasting act of love, then you should carve them here into a cannon," said Ranger Wiley.
He warns that anyone who is caught and identified, will be charged.