Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

May 4, 2014

Oakwood Odyssey to offer up stories from town’s past

Corsicana — The Oakwood Odyssey is offering up stories of power, action, war and peace, all within the confines of Oakwood Cemetery in Corsicana.

Often called Ghost Walks, the cemetery tours have actors portray various people buried in the cemetery, and Corsicana’s ghosts have some interesting tales to tell. The Odyssey will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10. Each 40-minute tour will leave from the 15th Street entrance to the cemetery. It’s a walking tour, so people are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes. Tickets are $10.

Docents will lead groups of 15 to 20 guests to various graves in the cemetery, and local actors dressed in period costume will talk about the person buried there, and explain something about the times during which they lived.

Among the people being portrayed is the woman killed by Black Diamond the famous circus elephant, the first woman judge, the oil field victims of a massive explosion in the ‘20s, the only Texas governor to die in office, and Madam Dora, whose customers were the thousands of oil field workers who flooded into the area during the boom years.

More than two dozen people are involved in bringing the Odyssey to life, including the actors, docents, and researchers.

Dana Stubbs, genealogy librarian at the Corsicana Public Library, has been to about 15 similar walks in other cities, and she encouraged the Genealogy Society to do it locally.

“I was impressed with the historical aspect of it,” said Lea Murray, president of the society.

Although there’s a touch of the macabre — not all the people on the tour died peacefully — it’s meant to be respectful, to recognize the contributions these people played in making our town.

“It is a solemn place,” Murray said.

Becky Follis will portray Belle Sutherland, a businesswoman in the 1920s, wife of the owner of Sutherland Funeral Home and furniture. Becky admits to having a bit of stage fright. Her acting experience in the past has been minor spots in school and church plays.

“I’m kind of nervous about it,” she said. “This is the first time I’ve ever done this, and especially in the cemetery for three hours.”

“I’m nervous about it, but I think it will be fun,” Follis added.

Robert Keathley, a former history teacher at Corsicana High School, has done research for a historical marker at the cemetery before, but in the Odyssey he’ll be portraying one of the 13 people killed in the famous McKie oil fire in 1923.

“At first I was going to be Dr. Hamill, but then they said we need you to be an oil field casualty,” Keathley said. “I’ll just give a brief description of what I felt like that morning. They didn’t have time to put their hands together to say a prayer. It was just ‘whoomp.’”

Barbara Honea will play Beatrice George who became a judge in her husband’s stead when he got sent overseas during World War II.

“She was just an interesting character,” Honea said. “I love genealogy. I love history.”

Honea was lucky in that she had actually met Beatrice, who took up playing dominoes when she moved into a nursing home later in life.

“I don’t mind acting crazy,” Honea said. “I won’t have a problem getting her personality, but I want to be accurate, not Barbara trying to be Beatrice. I think it’ll be fun.”

Cindy Graham, 27, who works at the library, is playing the nurse of Dr. Dan Hamill, while her paramedic husband, Matt Graham, plays the doctor.

“I just thought it was really interesting,” Cindy said. “I grew up near Oakwood. I rode my bike through there. I find these things interesting. I love history and learning about people.”

“I think it makes you feel more proud to be from a certain area to learn about the history of it,” Cindy Graham explained. “You don’t get involved in a community if you don’t know about the past.”

Tickets are still available, although the small tours are limited. To buy tickets, call the library at (903) 654-4808.

    —————

Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com.

 

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • 7-27-14 HayFire.jpg Hay fire closes Interstate 45

    A hay trailer fire Sunday on Interstate 45 near Richland shut down the highway

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • County values up for 2014

    The property value of Navarro County went up 5 1/2 percent in value for 2015, a rebound from the last two years when the city and county were reeling from the loss of some major companies’ plants.

    July 26, 2014

  • Mills place pool Home, sweet home

    Judy and Wayne Nelson had a family of visitors last week — the daughter and grandchildren of the architect who designed their 1927 house on Mills Place.

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • police stock photo Six arrested following drug raid

    Six people were arrested following the execution of a search warrant Thursday night by the Corsicana Police Department’s narcotics detectives, patrol officers and a Navarro County Sheriff’s deputy who works as a courtesy officer for the Arbors Apartment, 1300 N. 45th St.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25-14 AgriLife additions.jpg AgriLife adds two new agents to Navarro office

    It’s been awhile since the AgriLife Extension office in Navarro County has been fully staffed, but it’s going great guns now.
    New to the staff are Meredith DeBorde, and Lorie Stovall, who will be heading up the 4-H programs and the family and consumer programs, respectively.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks salary shuffle

    Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner went to the County Commissioner’s budget workshop Thursday to ask for a change of how his officers are compensated, or, alternately, an 8 percent across-the-board raise.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25-14 CAC boat.jpg Floating a big fundraiser idea

    The big night is fast approaching for the 10 Grand Country Jam, an Aug. 2 fundraiser for the Child Advocates of Navarro County. What will make it a big night is the grand prize, a $31,000 pontoon boat.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Candelario Garcia Jr. (main) Honoring a hero

    Since March of this year, the family of Candelario Garcia Jr. has been so proud of him, they could burst.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • County Budget Commissioners start budget process

    The Navarro County Commissioner’s Court held its first budget workshop Wednesday, the first of a dozen or more over the next month or so.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-23-14 pianos main.jpg Public pianos invite players

    Corsicana has always been a musical town, with emphasis on country and western, rock and roll, bluegrass and Gospel, but now the parks and recreation department is moving towards bringing music to the masses in a different way. They’re going to put pianos downtown, on the sidewalks for anyone to play at random.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo