History Comes Alive in Groveport

 John S. Rarey is one of the historical figures to be portrayed at "History Comes Alive."

Have you ever wanted to meet "The Horse Whisperer?"

Then take an educational journey back through time during the third annual "History Comes Alive" walking tour of the Groveport Cemetery on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Meet at the log house in Heritage Park, 551 Wirt Road. Call 836-3333 for information.

During the free tour you can hear the stories of, and visit with, "The Horse Whisperer" John S. Rarey, who trained and owned the famed stallion Cruiser; as well as a gravedigger, a worker who dug the Ohio and Erie Canal, and other "residents" of the Groveport Cemetery (see list below).


Additionally, the award winning documentary film, "Groveport: A Town and Its People," will be shown at 7 p.m. near the log house as well as after the cemetery tour is completed. Refreshments will be served.

Living history

"We wanted to portray the local history of Groveport by encompassing all facets of life in town from the notable to the every day people," said Groveport naturalist and cemetery tour leader Tina Dillman. "Everyone enjoys learning and finding out about the past. This event is great for people of all ages."

Dillman said each of the actors has thoroughly researched their characters.

"They’ve all studied their characters and have uncovered interesting tidbits to share with everyone," said Dillman.

Dillman said tour docents, as well as an actor to portray the canal worker, are being sought. To participate, call Dillman at (614) 836-3333.

The cemetery

"History Comes Alive" provides an opportunity to learn about the Groveport Cemetery and the people interred there.

The 198-year-old cemetery, located along Wirt Road, is rich in history and features unique tombstone artwork, such as the coffin shaped tombstone on the first grave established in the cemetery that marks the final resting place of Catherine G. Richardson. Her tombstone is enscribed "Sacred to the memory of Catherine G., consort of John C. Richardson, M.D. and daughter of Capt. Isaac Bowman, all natives of Shenandoah County, Virginia. Born December 23, 1787, departed this life January 19, 1809, aged 22 years."

A cemetery is not a static place. Nature grows there and so does human emotion and memory. It is a beautiful place for both the living and the dead.

About "History Comes Alive"

The cast of characters who will be portrayed at the free "History Comes Alive" walking tour event at the Groveport Cemetery on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. include:

•Catherine G. Richardson (portrayed by Jennifer Oestreicher), whose grave is the first one established in what became the Groveport Cemetery.

•Catherine Rarey (portrayed by Carla Cramer), the matriarch of the Rarey family who settled in the Groveport area in the early 19th century.

•A young frontier mother (portrayed by Angela Martin), who will talk about the trials and tribulations of life on the Ohio frontier.

•The gravedigger (portrayed by Bill Prentiss) who will tell graveyard stories.

•A canal worker (still to be cast, if interested in playing this role, call Tina Dillman at 836-3333), who will discuss the hard life of a canal laborer.

•John S. Rarey (portrayed by Ed Rarey), the famed 19th century horse trainer who owned and tamed the fierce stallion Cruiser.

•Pops Porter will discuss the military veterans who are buried in the cemetery dating back to The War of 1812.

•Tina Dillman will conduct the introduction to the cemetery tour.

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