When the Fenton History Center leads Lake View Cemetery tours this weekend, attendees won't be hearing about ghosts.
The Fenton will finish its sixth annual Saints and Sinners cemetery tours Saturday, and the center's Mausoleums and More tour will be held Sunday night.
"We don't do any haunted stuff," said Joni Blackman, Fenton History Center director. "It's all facts and no fiction."
The Fenton History Center will finish its sixth annual Saints and Sinners cemetery tours Saturday, and the center’s Mausoleums and More tour will be held Sunday night. The tours are the Fenton’s largest fundraisers.
Saints and Sinners tours will step off every 20 minutes, beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday. The final tour will take off at 5 and end around 6. Plenty of space remains for the walking tours, but the previously announced horse-drawn carriage tours have sold out.
"We're talking about a wide variety of folks this year," Blackman said. "There's the Gokeys, who owned the shoe factory where the (Great Fire of Jamestown) happened in 1910. We talk about Charles Dahlstrom. He died at a young age of a lingering disease. It's an interesting story there."
A brother and sister who helped build the music program at Jamestown Schools, a Suffragette, industrialists, and War of 1812 veterans will also be discussed.
"The soldiers weren't from this area because there wasn't much here in 1812," Blackman said. "They were from the East, and they settled out here. We don't know too much about them because their obituaries might be one line, but we try to talk about as many of them as we can."
Tickets for Saints and Sinners tours are $12 at the gate or $10 pre-sale from the Fenton History Center, and $5 for Fenton members. The cost for children up to age 18 is $2.
MAUSOLEUMS AND MORE
The Fenton started giving mausoleum tours three years ago. Costumed actors tell the stories of the mausoleums and the people in them.
"I wanted a fundraiser that was different," Blackman said. "You get to ask questions, and you get to go in the mausoleums, which people are just fascinated with. The (Saints and Sinners) tours have to be done in an hour to an hour and a quarter. There's a definite time period for those. With the mausoleums tour, it's a little more relaxed."
Blackman expects 50 or 60 people will attend the mausoleums tour. With only eight mausoleums in Lake View Cemetery, the Fenton has added large monuments to the tour this year to keep it fresh.
"We added Grace Galloway, the Lady in Glass, because a lot of people don't know her story; they know a lot of myths about her," Blackman said. "And this year, we're going to talk about a different mausoleum, but I don't want to give it away. People will have no idea how special this man was who we're going to talk about, how interesting he was and how connected to Jamestown he was."
Sunday's Mausoleums and More tour will begin at 8 p.m. and will last for about 90 minutes. Tickets are $20 per person and $15 for Fenton members. Light refreshments will be included. Reservations are encouraged, but aren't required.
The cemetery tours will be held rain or shine, barring a very hard rain, Blackman said.
With the help of volunteer guides and support from area residents, the tours are the Fenton's largest fundraisers of the year.
"The guides get into it," Blackman said. "They do a great job. Fundraisers should be fun and a learning experience, and that's what we try to do."
Tickets for the Saints and Sinners Lake View Cemetery tours and the Mausoleums and More tour are on sale at the Fenton History Center, 67 Washington St., Jamestown.
For more information or to order tickets, call 664-6256 or visit fentonhistorycenter.org.