Tales from the ages (WITH GALLERY)

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Historic Walk returns to Woodland Cemetery

One of the most popular draws in county events brought out its typically strong crowd on Saturday, as the Historic Walk returned to Woodland Cemetery.
“It’s a great way to get the community to learn local history,” Nicole Cox, a trustee for the Lawrence County Museum, who organizes the walk, said.

Cox said, this year, they had 33 people from the community who portrayed the notable figures buried on the grounds, ranging from World War I flying ace Col. William C. Lambert to ironmaster Nannie Kelly Wright to famed author and illustrator Edward Gorey to Waterloo Wonders coach Magellan Hairston.

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Two new figures were added to the route this year, which hundreds walked — World War I Medal of Honor recipient Dean Gilfillan and jet funny car racer Roger Gustin.

Some of the re-enactors included veteran performers, such as Sue Lunsford, portraying Sarah Campbell, while Ironton Mayor Sam Cramblit II took a first turn at telling about the life of Lambert.

“I’m his spokesman,” Cramblit said, as he stood next to a display of Lambert’s uniform.

The re-enactments covered a variety of moods. Visitors were told the ghostly tale of the statue on the grave of Osa Wilson, heard colorful stories about “Ducky” Corn and were inspired by the triumphs of Hairston.

This year was a passing of the torch for the portrayal of Wright, one of the most popular figures on the route, who had been portrayed for several years by Kay Rader, a trustee at the museum. This year, a junior at tri-State STEM+M Early College High School, stepped into the role.

Woodland Cemetery was dedicated in 1871, its site being on land purchased from the “Old Judge Newton Farm” for $10,000. More than 29,000 people are buried on the grounds.

Cox said the museum is already planning for next year’s walk, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the event.