‘Mourning Emma’ calls


HCHS Ghost Walk slated for Sept. 28

The Times-Gazette



“Mourning Emma” will tell guests about mourning practices of the 19th and 20th centuries during the Highland County Historical Society’s annual Ghost Walk on Sept. 28.

“Mourning Emma” will tell guests about mourning practices of the 19th and 20th centuries during the Highland County Historical Society’s annual Ghost Walk on Sept. 28.


Submitted photo

The stories of six individuals that walked the streets of Hillsboro in days gone by will be presented Tuesday, Sept. 28 during the Highland County Historical Society’s 2021 Ghost Walk.

The event starts at 6 p.m. in the Hillsboro Cemetery.

Each of the six “ghosts” are buried in the Hillsboro Cemetery.

“In our cemetery there is a lady with the unusual name of Mourning Emma Lear. We know very little about Mrs. Lear, but we have borrowed her name to present ‘Mourning Emma,’ who will tell us about mourning practices of the 19th and early 20th centuries,” the historical society said in a news release.

Granville Barrere was one of those men who changed horses in the middle of the stream. Most folks around Highland County knew him as publisher and editor of the News-Herald. Small in stature, he never shied away from his sharing of editorials which speared directly at local issues.

Already having lived his early years in his home country of France, the Rev. Emile Grand-Girard immigrated to the Hillsboro area with his family. He proved to be a force in the community as a Presbyterian pastor to the large French population around Mowrystown.

“But there was more to his life than preaching,” the news release said. “You’ll have to come to the event to learn about that.”

George Beecher was of the well-known Beechers about whom books have been written. His Aunt Harriett wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Beecher and his wife, “Nannie,” built the “Greystone” mansion and were well-known both in local society as well as St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

Anna Catherine Newby, or “Kitty” as she was called, was the wife of Judge Cyrus Newby, who was a prominent common pleas judge in Hillsboro. When he retired, he was thought to be the oldest judge in the state. At that time, he had served 27 years and returned to his law practice.

Sarah Ella Ayres, more well known as “Byrde,” was a bookkeeper for a number of Hillsboro companies prior to going to Washington, D.C. during World War 1, where she put her talents as a photographer to use for the government. That put her on the path of becoming a professional photographer.

“Again this year we will let the ghosts do the walking (after all, they have not had much exercise since they made their homes in Hillsboro Cemetery),” the news release said.

Attendees should bring a lawn chair, wear a mask and socially distance themselves around a stage beside the cemetery chapel. The presentation begins at 6 p.m. and will last about an hour. There is no charge for the event, but donations to the historical society will gratefully be accepted.

“We ask those for whom walking is not a problem to park a little farther from the chapel to save room for those who may need closer parking due to mobility issues,” the historical society requested.

“Mourning Emma” will tell guests about mourning practices of the 19th and 20th centuries during the Highland County Historical Society’s annual Ghost Walk on Sept. 28.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/09/web1_Ghost-Walk-pic.jpg“Mourning Emma” will tell guests about mourning practices of the 19th and 20th centuries during the Highland County Historical Society’s annual Ghost Walk on Sept. 28. Submitted photo
HCHS Ghost Walk slated for Sept. 28

The Times-Gazette