Historic mausoleum gets help with repairs

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) - It's hard for Larry Keehn to look at a torn up mausoleum sitting inside a historic cemetery in Pontiac. The roof collapsed on the structure and there are several other damaged mausoleums within the Oak Hill Cemetery.

The property is the final resting place for veterans and their families going back to the civil war. There is also a plot for Michigan governor Moses Wisner from the 1800s.

"My parents and grand parents are here but my consideration is for each and every one buried here and what they stood for, they built Pontiac,"  said Keehn.

The particular mausoleum needing the most work was built in the 1830s. Keehn has been putting in his time and money for years to maintain it, but it hasn't been enough.

"It just tears me apart," said Keehn. "I do all I can. If I had a wand I would wave it, put it the way it should be but I need funds money donations. "

"Even if we just get some monetary help from the citizens who have loved ones buried here that would be an instrument. We do have man power that has basically given their time," said concerned resident Chuck Johnson.

The cemetery is owned by Pontiac but  according to Keehn, the city has not had the money to do the upkeep.

The Detroit Memorial Park Association got involved about a year ago and there has been some progress since then.

Tuesday, a big surprise came through.

"At this point my boss says it doesn't matter, lets fix it… get it done," says Pablo Cruz of Detroit Memorial Park Association. "It feels good."

A contractor, has now been secured to repair this structure.

"Thank you channel 7," said Keehn.

Larry believes that because of our report, progress is moving faster. Tuesday contractors will be out at that mausoleum working on repairs.

According to Keehn, they are in need of more donations to help maintain a lot of these historical structures. Checks can be made to Oak Hill Cemetery Office and on the memo line write "Restoration Fund."

The cemetery's address is 216 University Dr, Pontiac, Mi 48342.

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