Highland Cemetery entrance arch to be restored

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 10:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The entrance arch at a Lawton cemetery will be restored, nearly two years after it was hit by a city garbage truck.

Lawton City Council accepted a proposal Tuesday from a company out of Oklahoma City to restore the broken arch at the Highland Cemetery on Fort Sill Blvd.

A project many have waited on to be complete will finally be able to move forward.

Highland Cemetery is the final resting place for more than 20,000 loved ones, but the arch there is not just an arch.

The Works Progress Administration built the entrance in the 1930s, making it a historical item.

That’s why Lawton City Council members chose Our Home Rescue, a historic preservation contractor, for the job.

The company is owned by Morgan Reinart, who appeared at the council meeting.

“It’s all part of who we are and the fabric of who we are, and whether that’s a WPA arched entrance into a cemetery or a historical building like we’re at here at city hall,” Reinart said. “Each of those things is worth preserving.”

Reinart’s company will send samples from the arch to a company New England to find out the exact composition of the mortar.

He said he wants to make sure it’s done correctly.

“With historic preservation, it’s not something that we can typically go to the box store and just buy something off the shelf because it’s been here for nearly 100 years.” Reinart said. “We want it to be here for another 100.”

The repairs are expected to cost nearly $140,000. The cemetery is in Councilman Kelly Harris’ Ward 2.

“It’s our history,” Harris said. “There’s nothing more important than our history. If we lose that, we lose our identity, and so I think it’s important that we restore this to the way it was so that when people come back they go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s just how I remember it.’”

Harris said the arch represents so much more.

“All of the families that have members buried there, we want to respect those members that are buried and make that a cemetery where people can go visited their loved ones and feel respected,” Harris said.

Harris expects the project to get underway this fall or in the spring. Temperatures and outside conditions have to be right to begin the restoration.