"History Comes Alive" in Groveport
Take an educational, entertaining and historical journey through time at the eighth annual History Comes Alive walking tour of the Groveport Cemetery on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.
Costumed actors will play historical residents of Groveport who will present stories of their lives and times during this tour of the cemetery. The event is free and for all ages. Meet at the log house in Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road. There will also be refreshments, historic games and a warm fire at the shelter house near the log house.
History Comes Alive provides an opportunity to learn about the historic Groveport Cemetery and the people interred there. The tour's organizers describe the event as "merry, not scary."
"It's not spooky. It's a wonderful and unique way to learn the local history of Groveport," said Tina Dillman, city of Groveport naturalist and activities assistant. "A visit to a cemetery is an adventure into history. On our cemetery tour, actors portraying local residents will tell what life was like here in Groveport and the surrounding communities. This event is about real people who made an impact on the history of the town."
The 203-year-old Groveport Cemetery, located along Wirt Road, is rich in history and features unique tombstone artwork. As part of the event, Dillman will discuss the tombstone art, epitaphs and history of some of the unique grave markers in the cemetery, including the coffin-shaped tombstone of Catherine G. Richardson, who was the first person buried in the cemetery in 1809.
The cast of characters at this year's History Comes Alive includes:
•A young pioneer woman, portrayed by Angela Martin, who will talk about folk remedies and family life in the 19th century.
•Mrs. Rarey, one of the city's matriarchs, portrayed by Carla Cramer, who will talk about the founding of Groveport and early settlers in the area.
•A canal worker who helped dig the Ohio and Erie Canal in Groveport, portrayed by Bob Cramer, who will describe the canal's construction and its importance to Groveport.
•Bill Prentice is Digger O'Dell, a gravedigger who will talk about the plagues and burial practices of yesteryear.
•Groveport's John S. Rarey, the famed 19th century horse trainer known as the original "Horse Whisperer," who owned and tamed the fierce stallion Cruiser, will be portrayed by Ed Rarey.
•There are many Civil War veterans buried in the Groveport Cemetery and one will be portrayed by a local Civil War re-enactor.
•Jan Hughes will portray a townswoman who will talk about the churches and school life in pioneer times.
Volunteers are being sought to serve as tour group leaders for the History Comes Alive event. Call 836-3333 for information.