Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cemetery walks and a highly historical Saturday

Here are a couple of things that are on my agenda during the next couple of weeks, events of the sort that I find endlessly fascinating. If you share any of these interests, feel free to come along for the ride:


The annual Chariton Cemetery Walk, sponsored by the Historic Preservation Commission, will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. this Sunday. Departures by bus will be approximately at the top of the hours from the Freight House, located two blocks north of the northwest corner of the square and a block west. Admission will be charged (proceeds to cemetery projects) and refreshments served.

This year's featured cemetery residents will be members of the Nicholas S. Melville family, long-time Chariton furniture dealers and undertakers; E. H. Best, a prominent contractor; Charles F. Wennerstrum, Iowa Supreme Court justice and Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal judge; and James A. Penick, a silver-tongued orator.

Those who attend also will hear a bit about the Chariton Cemetery's pending nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (more about that another time) and see a grave "witching" demonstration on the John Rinehart lot by members of the Lucas County Genealogical Society.

I'll be the tour guide for this event, riding along on the bus, pointing out points of interest, sharing cemetery lore and trying not to fall down.


The following Saturday, Sept. 26, will be a busy one at the Lucas County Historical Society's museum campus in west Chariton.

Bob Mullenix of Red Oak and Elwyn Taylor of Ames will be in the commons area of the John L. Lewis Building at 10 a.m. to present a free program on southern Iowa's pioneer roads. Everyone's welcome!

At 2 p.m., the museum complex will close officially for the season with an old-fashioned hymn sing in Otterbein Church, dear to my heart because my great-great-grandparents, John and Isabelle Redlingshafer, and many other kinfolk were among that building's United Brethren in Christ founding congregation. I'll be providing the welcome, making a few introductions and offering a brief history of the church --- but promise not to preach. Refreshments on the grounds will follow. Everything's free.


Finally, don't forget that The Moving Wall is on display 24 hours a day until 10 p.m. Sunday at the Round Barn Site, a mile east of Allerton down in Wayne County. There will be a program by Vietnam veterans at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and a closing ceremony at 7 p.m. Sunday.

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