The lineup of historical figures for the annual Ghost Walk, presented by the Highland County Historical Society, that will be held this autumn at the Hillsboro Cemetery has just been announced, according to the event coordinator John Glaze, who said that there will be a unique spin on the program this time around.
Glaze said that this year’s repertoire will be an historic first in that the historical characters will be females only, no men. The “all girls show,” according to Glaze, will boast an eclectic mix of individuals whose contrastingly different backstories tell complementary narratives of their respective challenges and accomplishments. The group will include one speaker who will portray a local resident who “died as a toddler,” in an attempt to explain, “why we have so many children buried in our cemetery,” according to Glaze, who clarified that there are “more children than veterans, actually,” buried at the cemetery.
Addressing this issue of historical infant mortality and trying to tell their tragic stories will be Carolyn Hastings, who will be playing Carolyn Clark, who died as a child and is buried in the cemetery.
In addition to Clark, the other deceased figures who will have their lives and travails posthumously resurrected include Mary Thomas Tuttle, the daughter of Judge James H. Thompson and Eliza Jane Trimble Thompson, to be played by Ann Throckmorton.
Catherine Collins, wife of William Oliver Collins, to be portrayed by Helen Ford, will be, “Looking back over her life and times, especially her trip out to the West to visit Caspar and William,” Glaze said.
Carrie Lee Finnell, who is, “arguably the most famous person buried in our cemetery,” according to Glaze, will be brought to life by Liz Odland Keister. Finnell accumulated a diverse and lively resume as a, “Ziegfeld girl in the early 1900s and later a striptease artist, her art taking her to much of Europe and across the United States.”
“No stranger to locals who read history,” is how Glaze teased the next member of the curated ensemble. Violet Morgan, Glaze said, “was a writer of local history as well as a school teacher.” Additionally, “Morgan was a great friend to the ‘Carmelites’ or ‘Carmel Hill People’ population, and was thought by many to be the foremost authority on their culture and lives.” Glaze concluded that, “Dr. Tara Berry will be portraying Morgan.”
Finally, Glaze presented a truncated biography of the last planned dramatized speaker. “Anna Titoff”, he explained, a U.S. Marine veteran, had an extraordinarily interesting life beginning as a child living in many parts of the U.S., working for the Federal government in Washington, married Russian-born Grisha Titoff, playing the balalaika with her husband and much more. Glaze said that Anna will be portrayed by Debbie Williams.
The event will be hosted by John T. Willis, who Glaze said, “will be giving very short snippets informing the audience of the “very famous people” buried in Hillsboro Cemetery, “such as Orville and Wilbur Wright.” Glaze was quick to explain that it isn’t the famous brothers who invented the airplane, but other individuals who shared their names. Other “famous” people buried in the cemetery include William Henry Harrison (Dunn), Benjamin Franklin (Chaney) and George Washington (Holmes), decedents who shared similar names with notable historical figures.
“Okay, so these folks only had the same names as those very famous people, but we’ll have fun learning who they were,” Glaze said.
For more information about events sponsored by and about the Highland County Historical Society, call 937-393-3392.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.