Saturday, October 1, 2016. Once again, the stories of the people buried in Adams County cemeteries, will come alive through the “spirits” representing them at the Adams County Historical Society’s popular Cemetery Tour.
Mount Repose Cemetery: Visit the graves of George and Nellie Bingham, Maude Decorah, Frederick and Caroline Klaus, Charles and Elizabeth Houghton, and Elsie Ewing Barnes McVey.
Saint Leo’s Cemetery: Visit the graves of John R. “Smiley” Desmond, Elton and Irene Davis, Helen and Donald Fogarty, Frank and Louise Nowachek, and the commemorative plaque for Frank Skotzke.
East Arkdale Cemetery: Visit the graves of Hans Christian and Amelia Pedersen, Inez Sweet, and Edwin Olson.
Lois Jacobs portraying the spirit of Eugenia Jost Jacobs at the 2015 Tour
To join in the Cemetery Tour, please register by Thursday, September 29. Register at the Historical Society’s Heritage Center, 311 Main Street in Friendship during open hours, or call 608-339-7733 and leave a message anytime. Then on Saturday, Oct 1st, meet the bus by 9:15 am at the Historical Society’s McGowan House Museum, 507 Main Street in Friendship. About 12:30 pm we will have lunch at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arkdale. The bus will return to Friendship after lunch. A $12.00 fee will be charged for the Cemetery Tour. Included in the price are the tour, bus ride and lunch.
At Mount Repose Cemetery we will meet George and Nellie Bingham. Bingham was a Friendship pioneer who was called “The most important man in the history of Adams County that no one knows about.” We will also hear from the spirits of Maude Decorah; a basketry artist and member of a famous and large Ho Chunk family; Frederick and Caroline Klaus, German immigrants who farmed and kept a stagecoach station near Rattle Snake Bluff; Charles and Elizabeth Houghton whose legacy includes their name on a rock south of Adams; and Elsie Ewing Barnes McVey, a colorful gal who was married to “Apple Tree” Barnes.
Next door at Saint Leo’s Cemetery we will learn some railroad history from the spirit of John R. “Smiley” Desmond who was an early conductor on the C&NW “400” passenger train. We will also hear from the spirits of Elton and Irene Davis, long time Adams County teachers; Helen and Donald Fogarty, who built and ran the old Cities Service station in Friendship; Frank and Louise Nowachek who ran the Adams movie theater and the Dellwood Pavilion; and Frank Skotzke who is commemorated with a plaque as his body was lost at sea. He was killed in action when a Japanese kamikaze sank the aircraft carrier St. Lo on which he was serving in WWII
Travelling out to East Arkdale Cemetery, we will meet the spirits and hear the stories of Hans Christian and Hilda Amelia Pedersen, who were progressive Strongs Prairie farmers and parents of a large family; Inez Lecy Sweet, a very active person in community service and one of the founders of the Adams County Historical Society; and Edwin Olson, who carried on farming on the land that his family settled on in 1855.