Funds sought to rebuild barracks at Fort Washita

By: From Staff & Wire Reports
By: From Staff & Wire Reports

ANTLERS, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Historical Society is seeking private donations and a grant to help rebuild a replica of barracks at a historic Army post that burned more than a year ago.

Authorities say the blaze at Fort Washita started in September
2010 after 19-year-old Travis Taylor ignited a toilet paper roll. 19-year-old Skylar Forster was also found guilty of arson in the fire that destroyed the barracks.

Society executive director Bob Blackburn told The Oklahoman ( rebuilding the 1970s-era structure using updated building codes will cost between $1.2 million and $1.5 million. The barracks were covered by a state self-insurance policy, but $750,000 in funds is still needed.

Blackburn says he's hoping to leverage a $250,000 challenge grant from a foundation and solicit other donors for the funding.

The fort was built in 1842 to protect the newly relocated Chickasaws from Plains Indians who lived to the west.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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