The 17th annual Chariton Cemetery Heritage Tour, sponsored by the Chariton Historic Preservation Commission, will go forward this year --- at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, outdoors in the northwest corner of the Chariton Cemetery.
Volunteer re-enactors will portray five people buried there in a presentation entitled "The Lady in the Iron Fence and Her Neighborhood."
The subjects will be Mary Finley --- that lady --- a young pioneer who died in 1857 and was buried in Chariton's original cemetery on the Columbus School hill, then reburied in the current cemetery when it was created in 1863; Deming Jarves Thayer, a civil engineer who built railroads in South America and North America's Midwest; Charley Rose, who caught a case of gold fever that caused him to spend six years in the Klondike, an adventure that cost his two partners their lives; Booker T. Richmond, a stellar Chariton High School graduate who went on to become a pioneering black Iowa attorney; and Mae Glenn Gasser, one of Chariton's best known residents in her time.
Free-will donations to further the work of the commission will be accepted.
We cancelled last year's cemetery tour as a result of COVID-19 and thought carefully about holding the event this year in light of the current surge in case numbers. But it will be held outdoors with plenty of opportunities for social distancing so we decided to go ahead. We'll provide some socially-distanced seating and anyone more comfortable wearing a mask is welcome to do so.