Bixby Neighborhood Surrounds Cemetery

Monday, March 30th 2009, 6:16 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

BIXBY, OK -- A growing neighborhood in Bixby has camouflaged a piece of the past. A small and neglected graveyard sits just off of 111th and Memorial and has no name.

It's hidden. Overgrown grass and shrubs eclipse the tombstones. The gnarled trees overshadow the burial grounds.  It is an old cemetery surrounded by new development.

You wouldn't know it was there if you weren't looking. Graves are marked by simple stones. Some with elaborate headstones weathered by time. The marked graves date back to the late 1800s. There are graves of children; one who only lived for four days.

It is cemetery seemingly forgotten.

"We stumbled on it when we were riding bikes," said Maryann Lamer.

The Bixby Historical Society's website acknowledges the cemetery is there. But it has no name. It's listed as the 111th Street Family Cemetery. The website says in the summer of 2007, developers discovered an unnamed small family cemetery while preparing land for a housing project.

The News On 6 contacted the historical society but they couldn't recall the little cemetery. Little seems to be known about the cemetery or those who were laid to rest.

"It would be interesting to know if there are families still in town that are associated with the graves back there," said Maryann Lamer.  "I think someone who is interested in history might want to find out more."

Ravenwood developer Tim Remy owns the surrounding land, but not the cemetery itself.

There are plans for eight homes to be built in the area as well as a tennis court and when it's all said and done, the cemetery will be like a sacred protected park.

Remy says the cemetery is owned by an Indian tribe. It's considered sacred ground and it's up to the tribe to maintain the plot.

Neighbors don't seem too bothered by the graves. But, they would like to see it taken care of.

"I don't think it's an eyesore right now because no one knows about it. It's kind of hidden back there so unless you are taking a walk back there or riding bikes you really would not know," said Maryann Lamer.

The News On 6 was told the cemetery cannot and will not be moved because it is an Indian cemetery and considered sacred grounds that should not be disturbed.