Everybody has a story to tell, and the dead told them vividly Sunday.
The Fenton History Center held its fourth annual "Mausoleum and More" at Lakeview Cemetery in Jamestown.
According to Joni Blackman, director of the center, the tour is held each year to highlight past members of the community and show members of the public much of the history of the town in which they live.
Joni Blackman, director of the Fenton History Center, led a tour of the mausoleums in Lakeview Cemetery on Sunday evening.
P-J photo by Andrew Carr
Traci Langworthy, portraying Grace Galloway, discussed a prominent fixture in Lakeview Cemetery on Sunday.
P-J photo by Andrew Carr
"This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it is a great way to learn local history and connect the dots with the names you hear about in Jamestown, or the street names you see, and then you see these peoples' graves and hear about the great things they did or the consistent, wonderful things they did for our community," she said. "It makes you more connected to the community."
The fundraiser allows the public to peer into places that are normally not seen, with actors portraying people buried in these tombs, telling the story of their time on earth.
"The added glory of it is that we get to go through the mausoleums," said Blackman. "We open them up and they get to go through them. We have actors at the mausoleum portraying one of the members of the mausoleum, and they are telling their family story."
Four monuments were highlighted in this year's tour, including the Fenton mausoleum, Bradshaw mausoleum, Preston mausoleum and the Lady in Glass statue of Grace Galloway.
Fifty to sixty people traveled through the cemetery, lit by the occasional flashlight and lanterns, to each of the sites.
The Fenton mausoleum highlighted Reuben Fenton, who became governor of New York.
Edwin Bradshaw, a newspaper man and Gerome Preston, a prominent member of the community were also highlighted.
The Lady in Glass, Grace Galloway, portrayed by Traci Langworthy, spoke to the crowd about her death, and dispelled rumors that are common in the area, such as she died on her wedding day. She really passed due to her illness, tuberculosis in 1898. Her father then commissioned the statue in her likeness from Florence, Italy.
Character actors included Sam Genco as Bradshaw, Langworthy as Galloway and Rick Lundquist as Preston.
"The board members of the Fenton History Center really step up to not only provide the baked goods, ticket sales and design of the walk, but they are also tour guides," said Blackman.
Blackman said throughout the years, the tours have given many community members a lesson in history.
"It is really great that the community is now stepping forward, coming to me and saying 'We want to be an actor on this,' and that is what we like to see," she said.
The Center also held its annual "Saints and Sinners" fundraiser walk Saturday.