Margaretville Cemetery Tour reservations now available

The Historical Society of the Town of Middletown will present its 8th Living History Cemetery Tour Saturday, July 10 at Margaretville Cemetery.

A total of 17 people will appear in this year’s event, directed by Frank Canavan and Joyce St. George. Groups of tour goers will be led by costumed guides through the cemetery to hear the stories of nine men and women who rest there.  Eight ‘at-large’ characters will appear in non-speaking vignettes on the cemetery grounds.

Admission is $20; kids under 15 get in free.

Tours will depart every 20 minutes between 4 and 6 p.m. Attendance is limited so tour time reservations are required. They may be made by calling 845-586-4736. The tour lasts approximately one hour. There is some uphill walking. Vaccinated individuals may forego masks; all others at this outdoor event are asked to wear them.

John Bernhardt, who has performed in every one of the tours, will play George Gilbert alongside Alice Zigelis as his wife Sarah. The pair will recount their very public divorce, and much quieter reconciliation.

Burr Hubbell as veterinarian Reuben Smith will tell the story of his son’s heroism while Air Force pilot Thomas Kingsley Smith (Kevin Hubbell) stands silently at ease. The efforts of Hungarian immigrant Esther Dobsa to keep her family together on the farm after her husband’s early death will be shared by Darlene DeMaille.

Nineteenth-century lamplighter Leslie Dumond will be portrayed by Ward Stevenson. Marge Helenchild will appear as Delaware County’s first female attorney, Mabel Fenton.

The tour audience will hear about the scandalous fall from grace of Anti-Rent War hero Edward O’Connor, as recounted by his nephew, D. Robert Scott, played by Brett Barry. And Mike Reilly as Irishman Sam Hunter will describe his fruitless search for a missing Civil War comrade.

Among the at-large players will be a pair of devoted sisters, Lucy and Mary Waterman (Lorraine Truran and Julie Ford) who converse in sign language; antebellum lady Deborah Carpenter Landon (Emily Vieyra-Haley), blacksmith Ebenezer Laidlaw (Howie Futterman) and a pair of Victorian picnickers played by John Exter and Lisbeth Furman. Newsboy Kieran Thomas will roam the grounds hawking the Margaretville Messenger.

Linda Stevenson, Jo Maender, Mary Colfer and Aurora Riley will serve as costumed tour guides.

Scriptwriters are Erwin Karl, John Jacobson, Anne Saxon-Hersh, Terry Bradshaw, Mary Barile, Marilyn Kaltenborn and Diane Galusha.

Information about this and other HSM events and programs can be found at mtownhistory.org.