SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan History House Museum & Research Center trustees, Kay Marsh and David James, recently developed a guided walking tour of Southside Cemetery. They have researched many of the folks at rest in the cemetery and plan to share some of the intriguing stories their grave stones reveal. The tours are set for 10 a.m. Fridays, July 24, and Aug. 7, at the Main Street entrance, according to a news release from the center.

Entering an old cemetery is like walking into a history book. Interesting stories pop out from everywhere. Every stone reveals a story and sometimes a mystery. Each reveals historic information that relates to the times and issues experienced by those laying at rest below. The engraved information provides a glimpse of the person, the vital record information, and it creates an entry point for further investigation and research. In addition, the style, design and the hand-chiseled figures in the stone provide a message beyond the written words.

The Stone Stories Tours will walk participants through local history and highlight the lives of many folks who proved significant in the history of Skowhegan and some relatively unknown but interesting folks as well. Tilly Mason served in the Revolution and settled in what was then Canaan in 1790 and raised nine children on a farm on Bigelow Hill near the home of Joseph Emery. His grave stone was provided by the local Eunice Farnsworth Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The tour will also visit the “Babies Lot,” a most unusual lot reserved just for specific babies. The purple amethyst stone at the George Otis Smith lot and the grave of a Confederate Soldier are also on the list.

Stone Stories Tours are open to the public with no preregistration necessary and per person donations will be gratefully accepted. Photography will be allowed and participants are welcome to bring along light-weight folding chairs to use at tour stops.

The museum also offers two other guided walking tours in historic areas: Historic Skowhegan Island/Falls, July 31 and Aug. 27; and “Useful Citizens” North Cemetery, Aug. 12. For further information, contact the Skowhegan History House Museum & Research Center at 474-6632 or [email protected].

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