5th Annual Cemetery Tour coming up

Eight men and women, whose lives were woven into the tapestry of local lore, will return to tell their stories at the Fifth Annual Living History Cemetery Tour Saturday, June 18 at the Halcott Cemetery, Bouton Road, Halcott.

The popular event combines history, theater and family stories. It is sponsored by the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown (HSM). The tour is part of Path Through History Weekend which shines a light on local heritage throughout New York State.

Halcott Cemetery

Rain date is June 19. Admission is $15, by reservation only. Well behaved children under 15 are free. Costumed docents will conduct seven tours leaving every 20 minutes starting at 4 p.m.  Reserve a tour time by calling 845-586-4736.

Groups will be guided through the cemetery to meet interesting folks from the past, portrayed by local residents. Featured this year:

  • Farmer, entrepreneur and long-time Halcott Town Clerk Marshall Bouton, portrayed by Michael Fairbairn
  • William and Sarah Johnson, farmers and ancestors of many Johnsons in the area today, played by John Bernhardt and Agnes Laub;
  • John Peter VanValkenburgh, first pastor of the Halcott Methodist Church, played by Kent Brown
  • Warren Scudder, a Roxbury Anti-Rent War leader who spent his last years in Halcott, played by Erwin Karl
  • Ellen Bellows, who witnessed her mother’s fiery death as a child, played by Sidney Asher
  • Mary Bloomburgh Griffin, whose son and husband died in the Civil War, portrayed by Peg DiBenedetto
  • Marion Moseman, a young patriot who enlisted for service in World War I but became a victim of the flu pandemic at training camp, portrayed by Cedric Taylor.

Seven writers used background information provided by researchers to develop scripts for each presentation. Directors are Joyce St. George and Frank Canavan.  Amy Taylor, Adina Johnson, Harriet Grossman and Anne Hersh will be tour guides.

The tour will be professionally filmed by Kevin Spelman (ModMedia). 2016 tour goers will have an opportunity to purchase a video of last year’s tour which was held at New Kingston Valley Cemetery.