“If tombstones could talk, what stories they would tell.”
A few of those tales will be shared at the second annual Langlade County Cemetery Tour: “Presenting the Past” Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, at Antigo and Queen of Peace Cemeteries. Tours will run from 1 to 3 pm each day.
Sponsored by Antigo Community Theater and the Langlade County Historical Society, the event will focus on six of the community’s colorful early settlers plus a few surprise popup visitors as well.
“This is an opportunity to learn about some of the people who were key to the creation of Langlade County and the community we know today.” Moira Scupien, president of the theater group, said. “Cemetery tour is a bit of a misnomer since this event is far from scary. Instead, we will present vignettes of the area’s rich history in an entertaining and informative manner.”
“The cemeteries are beautiful settings and we are sure people will enjoy the experience,” Joe Hermolin, president of the Langlade County Historical Society, added. “The committee has selected a cross-section of the community’s leaders and we have some exceptional actors and guides, mostly veterans of Antigo Community Theater productions, ready to share their stories.”
The tours, each lasting about an hour, will take small groups through Antigo and Queen of Peace Cemeteries. Tours will be scheduled at 15-minute intervals with guides leading each group from station to station.
Featured historical figures include:
--Mary Deleglise, Antigo’s founding mother.
--Leland Tolleson, the namesake of the Antigo Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.
--Eva Jewel, whose non-traditional and eclectic career led her from being a pioneer schoolteacher to a jockey, to the owner of nationally known automobile dealerships.
--Doctors E.J. and Mi.J. Donohue, early Antigo physicians.
--Dan McGuire, a railroad man who met a tragic end.
--Thomas Lynch, the first mayor of Antigo.
The tours will start in the parking lot of the St. Joseph Outpatient Center/Volm Cancer Center at Fifth Avenue and Aurora Street. Participants should plan on walking short distances over uneven ground.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Those ages 12 and under may join at no charge. Advance tickets are available at the Langlade County Historical Society Museum and may also be purchased at the gate.
In the event of rain, the tours will be moved inside to the Langlade County Historical Society Museum at Superior Street and Seventh Avenue. Actors will be spaced out throughout the museum’s three handicapped-accessible levels.
Here are a few photos from the 2021 Cemetery Tour.