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2017 Cemetery Tour

Adams County Historical Society’s 2017 Cemetery Tour

What stories were told at the Adams County Historical Society’s “Cemetery Tour 2017”. Since 2003 members of the society have told the stories of the deceased at Adams County cemeteries. This year’s tour included the deceased’s stories at Colburn/Leola, Pine Grove and New Chester Cemeteries.

The tour traveled to the Colburn/Leola Cemetery to visit the graves of two 19th century farm families: Benjamin and Nellie Graves and Daniel and Mary Booth told by the spirits of Nellie and Mary. We are also visited with the spirits of Archie and Jessie Gear; Archie was a farmer and longtime president of the Waushara Elect Co-op. We heard the spirit of Carrie Holcomb Graves tell the story of Marmaduke Graves, her young son who left home to join the CCC and didn’t come back.

At the Pine Grove Cemetery we visited with family members who told us the stories of Hryhory and Olga Nenja, who came to the United States from the Ukraine by way of Germany in World War II; of Frank and Geraldine Hesler and their farming family; and of Frank Frazer who perfected the art of Spencerian penmanship. We also visited with the spirit of John Osborn who died in a tragic train-automobile accident with three of his children.

At New Chester Cemetery we visited with the spirits of Carrie McClyman, beloved county school teacher of the 1890s; with W. Jackson Bell, self-taught electrical and telephone engineer of the 1900s; with Andrew J. McClyman, founder and longtime president of the Adams-Marquette Elect Co-op. And with the family of Joey Baggs who talked about Joey and the many members of the Baggs family in the area.

Please remember to join us for “Cemetery Tour 2018” on September 29, 2018


Dmytro Nenja (Nenia) tells the stories of Hryhory & Olga Nenia. — at Pine Grove Cemetery.

June Hesler tells the story of Spencerian penmanship teacher Frank Frazer. — at Pine Grove Cemetery.


June Hesler tells the story of the John & Barbara Hesler family. — at Pine Grove Cemetery.

Mike & Sharon Hartz tell the stories of Archie & Jessie Gear. — at Colburn Leola Cemetery.

Hope Eggersdorf, as Carrie Holcomb Graves tells the story of Marmaduke “Duke” Graves. — at Colburn/Leola Cemetery.

Sandy Pheiffer & Pat Sorenson as Mary & Nellie tell the stories of Mary & Daniel Booth and Nellie & Benjamin Graves. — at Colburn/Leola Cemetery .

Michael Goc, Pat Sorenson, Sandy Pheiffer and Hariet Dehlinger do a last minute prep for their “spirit” roles. — at McGowan House Museum.