Courtesy of St. Joseph Museum
By David Cawthon
If the dead could talk, they would have stories to tell. During one weekend each year in St. Joseph’s Mount Mora Cemetery, they do.
At Voices of the Past, you might meet a Pony Express rider, a spy, a unicycle rider, or a murderer. Actors bring these people from the past to life.
Act I begins at the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion. Visitors are bussed from there to the cemetery gates. Inside, guests will first meet one of the event’s creators, Suzanne Lehr who plays Ms. Kemper, the wife of the man who built the cemetery. Then, visitors walk the torch-lit path along Mausoleum Row, where they’ll pause and hear from the dead. Just before the curtain call, guests might be treated to an impromptu flash-mob-style choral performance or a speed-hungry race car driver who will screech to a halt in his classic car.
Suzanne digs up stories from her chats with visitors, research from old newspapers and diaries, and other sources, like the biography inscribed on the tombstone of the town’s first embalmer. These narratives are the basis for her scripts that capture quirky, inspiring, and forgotten stories. There’s no telling who you’ll meet.
The event is on October 22 and October 23 and begins at 6:30 pm. Call the St. Joseph Museum at 800-530-8866 for reservations. Visit stjosephmuseum.org.