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Group wants to restore historic Helper Arch

The Helper Arch greeted people arriving from the south.

Sun Advocate associate editor

Ford "Model A"s once cruised into Helper by passing under clear span arch over what was then a highway.

"Welcome to Helper, Center of Utah's Coal Industry," read the greeting. It was just north of where R&A Market is today, and a little south of the service station that is now Pearson Tire.

The arch is long gone but not forgotten by the Helper Beautification Committee. They want to bring it back, not in full-scale, but as an 11-foot-tall, 17-foot-wide replica.

Neida Garcia of the committee and David Palacios told the city council that the preliminary work they have done shows that a potential site for the new "old" sign would be on Poplar Street where a "Welcome to Helper" sign already stands.

They said they are working with Sign Edge on the design and construction material. They'd like to see it illuminated somehow, either with floodlights like the old one or with neon, which was popular in the old days.

There will be one change in wording: it will be "Center of Utah's Energy Industry" instead of coal industry.

"We don't want to take anything away from coal, but we're doing so much more today," Palacios explained.

The committee is looking for donations from individuals and companies to finance the project.

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