This year’s edition of the annual Ghost Walk at the Hillsboro Cemetery, conducted under the auspices of the Highland County Historical Society, enthralled audience members Tuesday on an autumn evening of local history resurrected.
This year’s lineup of historical figures was curated from amongst only females buried at the cemetery. There was also a thematic discussion of the historical prevalence of infant mortality. There are “more children buried in the cemetery than adults,” according to John Glaze, historical society volunteer and coordinator of the popular event.
A statue placed near the cemetery chapel was commemorated to memorialize these many deceased children, whose burials are often unmarked without names. Glaze said that the statue that was dedicated was, “donated earlier this year in memory of the children buried in the cemetery.”
One of the dramatized speakers, Carolyn Hastings, who portrayed Clara Clark, who died as a child, explained further the myriad of infectious diseases that exacerbated the rate of endemic infant mortality which plagued people years ago and resulted in, “the approximately 1,600 children buried in the cemetery,” according to Glaze.
Other speakers included Helen Ford, Dr. Tara Beery, Debbie Williams, Anne Throckmorton and Liz Odland.
They portrayed Catherine Collins, Violet Morgan, Anna Titoff, Mary Thompson Tuttle and Carrie Lee Finnell.
In addition to the staged and scripted performances, a walking tour to visit the respective headstones of the various individuals whose illustrious lives were discussed was available thereafter.
The historical society will continue its presentation of local events to the public in an upcoming event as a new adaptation of the Lincoln School Story will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Highland House Museum, which is located on East Main Street in Hillsboro.
For more information about the Highland County Historical Society, call 937-393-3392.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.