Wewahitchka discusses solutions to aging, damaged cemeteries

At their most recent city meeting, the Wewahitchka city commissioners raised the issue of the city’s aging and damaged cemeteries for consideration.

In particular, the commissioners opened a discussion of how to move forward with efforts aiming to preserve and repair gravesites at local cemeteries, with repairs estimated to cost about $200 per grave, according to Michael Gorteman, the city manager.

“If it’s going to take $200 per grave to get them in good shape, let’s do it,” said Mayor Philip Gaskin at the city’s August 25 meeting. ”We have to.”

The land at the cemeteries is deeded

Tasks to be completed include cleaning out trees causing damage to gravesites and cleaning and repairing older gravestones, especially those from families who no longer live in the area.

The city has established a cemetery committee to help coordinate cleanup efforts as directed by the city.

“It’s going to be up to the city to take care of them because those families don’t even live here anymore,” Gaskin said. 

Ann Johnson, the president of the Wewahitchka Historical Society, informed the commissioners that a workshop on cleaning historical gravestones was going to be held at the Wewahitchka library on October 21. She encouraged the commissioners as well as interested members of the public to attend.


Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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