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Fort Worth, Texas News

Pioneers Rest Cemetery in Fort Worth Receives Grant for Restoration Efforts

Fort Worth's historic Pioneers Rest Cemetery is set for significant improvements following the approval of a $30,000 grant from the Texas Historical Commission.

Established as the city's first public cemetery, Pioneers Rest holds the remains of many early pioneers and influential figures. However, parts of the cemetery have fallen into disrepair over time, prompting the need for restoration efforts.

The grant will primarily focus on enhancing two key structures within the cemetery: the entry gates and the sexton's cottage. The entry gates, composed of massive granite columns and wrought steel closure gates, require refurbishment to maintain their integrity. Similarly, the sexton's cottage, dating back to around 1910, necessitates restoration to combat water damage and vegetation infiltration.

The Pioneers Rest Cemetery Association spearheaded the grant application process, which commenced in February 2023. After submitting a project proposal in July of the same year, the association was awarded the $30,000 grant in October.

This grant comes amidst a competitive selection process, with the Texas Historical Commission receiving 37 grant applications totaling nearly $1.6 million in funding requests. Ultimately, 16 proposals were approved during the commission's quarterly meeting last fall, amounting to a total grant allocation of $892,403.

Assisting the Pioneers Rest Cemetery Association throughout the grant process and subsequent restoration efforts, the City's Historic Preservation staff has played a crucial role. From developing the initial grant application to providing guidance on preservation practices, the staff remains committed to preserving Fort Worth's rich historical heritage.

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