Fenton To Kick Off Saints And Sinners Tours
History buffs and Halloween fans can both find something to enjoy during the Saints and Sinners tours again taking place at Lake View Cemetery in Jamestown.
The Fenton History Center is holding the 16th annual event series, which opens this Saturday. The center is offering walking tours and a carriage ride with tour guides and actors providing historically accurate, spooky tales.
Fenton Executive Director Noah Goodling said the best part about the tours is being able to share new, unique local stories every year.
“I think that sometimes there’s a sense that everything that happened in the past was better in some way — that we were a better class of people back in the day,” Goodling said. “Of course, we do have some sterling examples from Jamestown’s past — that’s the saints part, but when we start talking about the sinners, I think that one of the messages that really comes across is that human nature doesn’t change over time. The people that existed in Jamestown’s past are just the same as the folks that exist today, and they have the same emotions and the same problems; they were dealing with the same sorts of conflicts that you’re going to find in today’s society. I think it’s important to have a venue or a program where we can talk about that side of history that doesn’t always fit neatly into an exhibit or a more triumphal kind of historic program.”
Goodling said the carriage rides are filling up fast, but there are a few single seats available. Walking tours also have availability, Goodling added. The carriage and walking tours include different stories which are unique, providing different experiences for patrons depending on their tour choice.
Goodling said walks and carriage rides should take about an hour, however, walking tours have been known to go over an hour depending on the guide leading the tour.
“Some of our guides have been doing this for all 16 years, so they probably know more about the cemetery than they probably should,” he said. “Each tour will feature seven stories — some of them are acted and some of them are guide told.”
The tours are family-friendly, Goodling added. Tours by carriage are $20 a person, while the walking tours are $10 as a pre-order, $12 at the gate, $5 for members, and anyone under 18 can attend for $2. Tours will be given on Oct. 9 and Oct. 16. On Oct. 9, the carriage tours start at 3 p.m. and will leave every hour until 6 p.m. while the walking tours will begin at 6 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m. On Oct. 16, the walking tours will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m., while the carriage tours will begin at 6 p.m. and will end at 9 p.m.
“Part of what we want to do is encourage families to come out and take part,” he said. “We want to encourage lots of people to come on the walking tours and bring the whole family.”
Goodling said the center will also host a Halloween Open House on October 30. While there won’t be any specific tours, the Fenton Mansion will be “decked out in family-friendly Halloween chills and thrills,” he said. Visitors should also keep their eyes open for the holiday market craft show in November and the popular Christmas exhibit after Thanksgiving.
“Those are sort of our last major things before the end of the year,” Goodling said.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 664-6256.