Isam Smith’s grave marker in the Gardner Cemetery is incorrect, but re-enactors from the Gardner Historical Museum will set the record straight during a Talking Tombstones Cemetery Walk this weekend.
The annual event raises funds for museum.
Smith, a freed slave who lived on the current site of New Century AirCenter, died in 1900. His grave marker in the Gardner Cemetery notes that he died on June 18 of that year, however, according to his obituary, published on June 7, 1900, he died on June 5.
Smith is one of eight, local historical characters who will be portrayed by local actors during the cemetery walk on Saturday. Others include Daniel Owen Quaintance, William Ott, Lulu Perkins, Ellen Sharp Cramer, Benjamin Francis, Stephen J. Wilson and Israel G. Wyrick.
Admission cost is $5 for adults. Tickets are available at the museum, 204 W. Main St., or at the cemetery on either of the night the walks will take place.
A tour guide decked out in period dress will lead attendees through the cemetery, where some of Gardner’s most well-known individuals and families are buried. Along the way, attendees will view the grave sites of these historic figures, and actors dressed as the person buried at that spot will speak about their lives.
Tours will depart from the cemetery entrance every half hour. The final tour will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 3.
The event’s organizers ask that those who attend behave respectfully toward the venue The event is not intended to be Halloween-themed, nor is it intended to be spooky – so those looking for a good scare will be disappointed. Those looking to learn about the history of Gardner and the men and women who settled it, however, will find the evening both entertaining and informative.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Gardner Museum and Historical Society at (913)856-4447.
Historical museum’s annual Cemetery Walk set to bring history to life