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Cemetery Crawl brings pioneers to life

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At Russell Gulch Cemetery

By Linda Jones

Coupling the Cemetery Crawl with the BeerFest brought an interesting mix of dress choices to crowded Main Street in Central City. Most of the 270 attendees and 34 volunteers involved in the Russell Gulch Cemetery Crawl could be seen enjoying the BeerFest afterward. The weather cooperated for the Crawl and the ‘daily’ sprinkle began just as the event ended. Nothing dampened the pleasure of the attendees. Many in the crowd declared, “This was the best Crawl yet!” and everyone enjoyed the ‘living’ history.

The eleven actors who brought eleven Russell Gulch pioneers to life were all entertaining and had obviously ferreted out the stories of the pioneers they were assigned to bring to life in their five- minute recreations. The actors and the pioneers they represented follow: Judge Michael Klein, portrayed by Herman Gaines; Madame Marie Curie, Lynn Pollitt; the DeCoar family, Gloria Gaines; Fannie Mellow, Cora Jean Lenheer; Hal Sayre, Neal Standard; Lottie Russell, Anne Luedders; John Brewer and John Bray, buried in the same grave, Chuck Roberts; Fanny Hore, Jennifer Rogers; William Auger, Jim Peyrouse; William Green Russell, Chris Todd; Owen Jones, Mike Keeler.

Gilpin County Commissioner Connie McLain introduced the town and cemetery and Amy Thomas, Helen Getman, Barbara Adams and Suzanne Matthews were the Victorian-garbed cashiers. The ‘Victorian’ guides were Gary Huffman, Joan Schrader, Diane Scott, Gail Keeler, Wally Cleaveland, Colleen Stewart, Brittany Schmidle, Deb Wray, Bill Cavanagh, Martie Fast and Linda Jones.

The popular annual Crawl moves to a different cemetery each year and portrays different stories. The 2014  Cemetery Crawl will be on Saturday, August 23 at the Knights of Pythias Cemetery on ‘cemetery hill’ above Central City and will again begin at 11 a.m. as this starting time proved popular with all the participants.

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